The following are notes that I took while recently re-reading Part 1 of Ada. Brian Boyd was kind enough to include some of them in his online annotations. Apologies if there are any redundant remarks vis-à-vis previous posts by others.
March continues to be an especially exciting month for Nabokov studies. In addition to the release of the latest Nabokov Online Journal, we also have the publication of two new collections of topical essays and one new monograph:
1. Teaching Nabokov's Lolita in the #MeToo Era, Elena Rakhimova-Sommers, Ed. (See news page for full description)
I want to add to my previous post (http://thenabokovian.org/node/52191) a brief chart I made demonstrating many of the similarities between Pale Fire and Finnegans Wake (attached). My suggestion, as above, is that it seems possible that VN was influenced by Northrup Frye’s acclaims of Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, and purposely plagiarized the themes and motifs, possibly as parody or as a demonstration of how the same could be employed in a novel that is actually readable on a number of literary levels.
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannons_(house): "...Alexander Pope was unjustly accused of having represented the house as 'Timon's Villa' in his Epistle of Taste (1731)."
[the note 5] Pope confided to Lord Burlington "that character of Timon is collected from twenty different absurditys and improprieties: and never was the picture of any one human creature"; quoted in James Lees-Milne, The Earls of Creation, :148...
Does anyone have any information about the Field archive - in Life and Art of VN notes suggest that Field has a personal archive including letters from Nabokov to his mother, Nabokov's 1952 diary, a hand-written letter to Samuil Rosov from 1937 and 'notebooks'?
For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm. There are not many such books.
Pale Fire is quoted in the lede and referred to again in the close of a review of Larry Tye's Demagogue: The life and long shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy, by Geoffrey Wheatcroft, in the Times Literary Supplement of Dec 11 2020.