NABOKV-L post 0020883, Sat, 16 Oct 2010 23:21:28 -0400

Pale Fire poem
Dear List,

I have been going through the PF cards at the Library of Congress to look at
the dates on which VN wrote different portions of the book, and noticed
these lines, which were deleted from the final MS. They were at some point a
part of the television-watching scene:

You pounced upon and strangled a beer ad.
Quel vent! You guessed the roads were pretty bad.

There has been some debate on the List over whether or not VN intended
Shade's poem to be flawed. Perhaps at the very least we can agree that he
didn't mean it to be *that* flawed.


Andrea Pitzer

On Sat, Oct 16, 2010 at 10:41 AM, Jansy Berndt de Souza Mello <> wrote:

> " *If Lolita's eyes are "vair" or "gray" and related to a "columbine
> shade," then Nabokov's choice for Lolita's eye-color might also be
> indicating the commedia del'arte's love triangle.*"
> We know that all colors delight Shade, even grey, and that one of the names
> assumed by Gradus is Jacques de Grey or James de Gray.
> We haven't yet asked it this color indicates "a columbine shade."
> The word in Russian (siziy), by its imagined resonance, helped me to
> realize that, in Portuguese, we don't have an independent word to describe
> "gray" or "gris," since the term we use is descriptive, as in "ashen
> colored" or "like ash" ( ie, we say "cinzento" and "cinza": would "siziy" in
> Russian also relate to cinederella's cindery ashes?)
> In English you have various options to refer to grey. Leaden or plumbeous,
> for example. In this case, as in the "columbine shade," there is a hint of
> an opaque blueness in it which, I think, is absent from the merely grey,
> colorless ashes themselves.
> Are the baroque Nabospeek, Bakhtin's rabelaisian carnival, the Italian
> commedia, the Russian balagan, indicated by the name "Gradus"?
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