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Et Ceteras, Ellipses and Errors in PF's Commentary

Submitted by lawrebas on Sun, 12/06/2020 - 15:47

The ‘Pale Fire’ quotations Kinbote uses in his commentary headers intrigue me. 

Some he ends with an et cetera (eg ‘Lines 1-4: I was the shadow of the waxwing slain, etc.’):

  • C.1-4, C.39-40, C.90-93, C.120-121, C.162, C.167, C.231, C.417-421, C.597-608, C.609-614, C.704-707, C.835-838, C.939-940, C.993-905.

I wonder why the single-line references used in C.162, C.167 and C.231 have etcs instead of simply quoting the full line (as he does in C.57, C.130, C.286, C.549, C.596, C.662)?

Hissing watch in PF, taken from Onegin variant

Submitted by Alain Champlain on Fri, 12/04/2020 - 22:25

“What is the time, kot or? He pressed his repeater and, undismayed, it hissed and tinkled out ten twenty-one." (Note to Line 149)

The hissing repeater (watch) image is taken from Eugene Onegin, One: XVII, variant to lines 1-3 in the draft:

Onegin drinks, is noisy, but again
<under the finger hissing> his Bréguet
<informs him> that [a play] by Shahovskoy...

(Note: this Bréguet is a watch Nabokov describes as "an elegant repeater.")

Nabokov and Joyce (quoits update, and Rudy Bloom's birthday)

Submitted by Alain Champlain on Fri, 12/04/2020 - 22:02

I wanted to pop back in and give a bit of an update on my old "quoits" thread (and belatedly say thanks to Shakeeb for the encouragement there).

I've mostly been able to find possible counter-evidence, though it's shaky. In his Lectures on Literature, Nabokov spends quite a bit of time with the jingling in this passage (Part Two, Chapter 8), though he doesn't explicitly connect it to Molly's jingling bed:

Patricia Lockwood on VN

Submitted by matthew_roth on Mon, 11/30/2020 - 13:47

Patricia Lockwood has a long essay-review about VN in the 5 November London Review of Books. It won't be to everyone's taste, but I enjoyed it, and I think she has some insightful, interesting things to say. For instance, this nugget:

Nabokov sets up problems to which it seems there should be answers, but he does not give answers, he gives rewards. That is why he is beloved, why people dedicate whole academic lives to him.

LATH: Hazel & Fleur

Submitted by MARYROSS on Sun, 11/29/2020 - 17:10

LATH: Hazel & Fleur


As I mentioned in my two previous posts (Junkers=Jung & Esmeralda=G. Emerald), it seems to me that LATH’s conflation of VN’s novels was VN’s way of signaling the key themes that link them – possibly themes that had been overlooked (his “catalogue raisonne of the roots and origins” of his fiction). Here is another allusion in Esmeralda and Her Parandrus to PF’s conflation with Lolita: