This is my first time posting, so please forgive any mistakes regarding conventions of the forum.
Earlier this year I was watching a baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays, which happened to take place in Buffalo, NY because COVID travel restrictions. During an inning with not much action, the YES commentators started discussing how the air in Buffalo is notorious for smelling like breakfast cereal because of a waterfront General Mills plant. The company has used this plant to produce Cheerios and other products since 1928.
If VN’s intent in LATH was to distance himself from his work through a parody of readership projections, it seems it may also have been to bring the essence of his novels closer to reader apprehension through the conflated parodied titles; e.g. See Under Real seems to conflate TRLSK with PF. The theme of both is the appropriation of the writer of genius by the commentator, ending ambiguously as either an ironic mistake or spiritual transcendence.
I recently began re-reading LATH, a book I did not care for on first reading. This second time around I find there are some interesting connections that I missed before. The conflated and skewed authorial re-inventions shed light on Nabokov’s estimations of his previous novels, and suggest keys to their salient points. In fact, it may even be the point and purpose of the novel, like in Speak, Memory where he hopes for closer readings because he “hates to have to point such things out.”
I wanted to point out a detail in this transition:
“Espied on a pine’s bark,
As we were walking home the day she died,
An empty emerald case, squat and frog-eyed,
Hugging the trunk; and its companion piece,
A gum-logged ant.
That Englishman in Nice,
A proud and happy linguist: je nourris
Les pauvres cigales—meaning that he
Fed the poor sea gulls!” (Lines 236-243)
The first scene takes place in "the beginning of 1950" the day Maud Shade dies.
I have been posting on this site my theory of a Jungian substrate to Pale Fire, particularly the idea that the novel’s main characters are archetypes within Prof. Botkin’s subconscious. I have found in the text specific Jungian words that relate to the character archetypes, i.e: shadow (Gradus), mask (Shade/persona), joker (G. Emerald/trickster), and typical images for the anima women (soul, butterfly, mermaid, nymph, spider, Medusa, indistinct, blurry), savior (Balthasar/self), Judge & Dr.
Good afternoon, folks! This is my first post—glad to be joining you all, and please forgive me if this already well-trodden ground. I was messing around with an anagram decoder earlier today, and realized I had never tried rearranging "Humbert" before now. Turns out I could have seen "thumber" hidden in there pretty easily if I just took out the space and wrote Humberthumbert, but hey, no use crying over spilled milk.
Below is a "word cloud" of the Foreword in Pale Fire, where the relative size of each term indicates the relative number of times it shows up in the text, with articles (and any other terms indicated by the user) not counted. I made it using an app from wordle.net, with text pasted in via the following sequence: a screenshot of each spread in the Vintage e-book, then Adobe Acrobat file assembly and Character Recognition. I then deleted the pdf.