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A Trip to Cedarn

Submitted by MARYROSS on Fri, 09/18/2020 - 17:48

I just took a little trip in the Wayback machine,* set for “Cedarn,” and arrived in 1998 to discover (from Tom Bolt) that:


> “Cedarn” occurs in Coleridge’s Kubla Khan: “But oh! That deep romantic chasm which slanted/Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover” (Lines 12-13)


Adding to Ada Online? Note re: Van and Demon's morphing stories

Submitted by Alain Champlain on Thu, 09/17/2020 - 21:03

Not sure how a note would be added to Ada Online, but I think this one should be fairly uncontroversial.

On Van's first day back at Ardis in 1888, the details of his arrival morph, starting with:

"My horse caught a hoof in a hole in the rotting planks of Ladore Bridge and had to be shot. I have walked eight miles." (P.189)

Then a few lines later, the narrator reports that "[h]is train had broken down in the fields between Ladoga and Ladore, he had walked twenty miles[...]"

List of PF personages associated with mysticism and/or occult

Submitted by MARYROSS on Mon, 08/10/2020 - 18:57

Virtually every personage mentioned or alluded to in Pale Fire was associated with mysticism and/or the occult. I have compiled a list below. Note how many were members of the SPR, the esoteric/scientific society that is the template for Shade’s IPH. This is particularly important for my focus: Pale Fire’s hidden structure of Jungian alchemy and archetype.

Book Review for NOJ

Submitted by matthew_roth on Tue, 08/04/2020 - 11:19

Hello all,

I have recently taken on the position of Associate Editor for Reviews at the Nabokov Online Journal, and I am trying to get together a list of potential books and reviewers. If you have book on Nabokov that you would like reviewed, or if you are interested in writing a review for the NOJ (whether or not you have a particular book in mind), please reach out to me.  My email is

Many thanks in advance,

Matt Roth

Renaming "Ostranennie" in English

Submitted by carolyn_kunin on Sun, 08/02/2020 - 16:49

Dear All,

I've started reading an essay by Carlo Ginsburg in his book "Wooden Eyes" (a reference to Pinocchio, which does literally mean wooden eye) entitled "Making it Strange; the pre-history of a literary device." And it got me to thinking ... I have always felt uncomfortable with the English translations of "ostranennie" into English. "Making it strange" is awkward, barely English at all. So I sat down at the computer and started exploring possible alternatives. And I came up with the following short list:

Reference to "(picnic, lightning)" in Ada

Submitted by Alain Champlain on Sat, 06/27/2020 - 06:10

From Ada, part 1, chapter 6:

Alonso, a tiny wizened man in a double-breasted tuxedo, spoke only Spanish, while the sum of Spanish words his hosts knew scarcely exceeded half a dozen. Van had canastilla (a little basket), and nubarrones (thunderclouds), which both came from an en regard translation of a lovely Spanish poem in one of his schoolbooks.

The parenthetical '(a little basket)' and '(thunderclouds)' are, to my eye, a reference to the famous '(picnic, lightning)' in Lolita: