NABOKV-L post 0020704, Fri, 10 Sep 2010 01:56:42 -0300

Subject
Alfin, Shade: Swift and a correction
Date
Body
In his note to line 270, related to Shade's endearing terms towards Sybil/darkVanessa, Kinbote not only mentions Swift twice, but he compares himself to him: "I too am a desponder in my nature, an uneasy, peevish, and suspicious man, although I have my moments of volatility and fou rire."
Sybil's maiden surname, Hirondelle, could be translated as "Swallow" but also as "Swift".* A coincidence...


My depiction of the Vanessa Atalanta's upper and undersides was incorrect. I found an image of a male's underside and its color is mainly gray, not brown ( at least as I discern it from its photographs). The upperside has the orange/red bars, white, black and brown colors, plus other details (blue dots?). Apparently, the inversion of wing colors,as pointed out earlier in connection to Gradus chocolate tie, contrasting it with other references to the Red Admiral, is not presented in PF.**


...............................................................................................................................

* From the scientific name of the Barn Swallow ("Hirundo rustica") I suppose that Sybil Shade, née Hirondelle, would be closer to the white-bellied swallows than to the dark under-bellied swifts. However, Sybil's connection to the swifts might be borne out from Nabokov's translation of the poem he describes in SO (p.14) with "swallows skimming by". If I'm not mistaken, its title in the finished English translation indicates the swift.

from internet sources, I conclude that there doesn't seem to be a general agreement in relation to swifts and swallows. Someone wrote in the internet: "The swift has short tail feathers, a dark under-belly and spends virtually all its life on the wing. Finds it very difficult to get airborn again if it does land on the ground.The swallow has a pale underbelly, long tail feathers and nests in old buildings, under bridges, etc" Another person (Rob Lee) described them as ":the barn swallow and the white-throated swift, foraging on all those beer-crazed bugs rising off the crowd. While these birds are seemingly quite similar - long, swept-back wings, the aerodynamics of great fliers - the swallow is a song bird and the swift is not; actually more closely related to hummingbirds."


** ...With the exception of the "chocolate brown" tie, all the other references return us to "dark" and "negro." The upper side of a Red Admirable has a different coloring from its ventral side. The red bar is seen on the upperside, the other side is chocolate brown but has no heraldic red crossings. The "dark" dimension ( or "negro" link) could be just an accidental clue. However, when Nabokov mentions Brueghel's painting ( is it in "Ada"?), there is a comment about a distortion due to the inversion of the upper and lower sides of the insect, to bring out its aesthetic appeal instead of the truly entomological depiction.

Search archive with Google:
http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&HL=en

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com

Manage subscription options: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/