NABOKV-L post 0020893, Wed, 20 Oct 2010 14:48:40 -0200

Subject
[NABOKJOV~L] Addendum to "synthesis of sun and star" and Shade
as...Ganymede?
Date
Body
In Pale Fire, John Shade writes (956-960) that " Dim Gulf was my first book (free verse); Night Rote/ Came next; then Hebe's Cup, my final float/ In that damp carnival..."

From wikisources:
"Hebe's male counterpart was the boy Ganymedes and her opposite number was Geras(Old Age). She may have been equated with Selene's daughter Pandeia...HEBE was the goddess of youth and the cupbearer of the gods who served ambrosia at the heavenly feast... GANYMEDES was a handsome, young Trojan prince who was carried off to heaven by Zeus, or his eagle, to be the god's lover and cup-bearer of the gods. Ganymedes also received a place amongst the stars as theconstellation Aquarius, his ambrosial mixing cup became the Krater, and the eagle Aquila. Ganymedes was frequently represented as the god of homosexual love, and as such appears as a playmate of the love-gods Eros(Love) and Hymenaios (Marital Love)... Ganymedes usually appears with shepherd's crock and a Phrygian cap.The boy's name was derived from the Greek words ganumai "gladdening" and mêdon ormedeôn, "prince" or "genitals." The name may have been formed to contain a deliberate double-meaning."

In connection to mythological figures, constellations and stars, there's more to come.
John Shade on Sybil: One palm with fingers spread,

Between a star of trillium and a stone,

Pressed on the turf. A little phalange bone

Kept twitching. Then you turned and offered me

260 A thimbleful of bright metallic tea.



I'd recently mentioned a wordgame in the French translation of PF, for line 812: "quelque lien dédalien"

(in the original:"some kind of link-and-bobolink"*)



Inspite of its emergence in the French poem, Daedalus only makes his appearance through CK's note to line 810, instead of being directly mentioned in the original poem.
CK's reference, passing from a Biblical Isaiah** is ironical: "The crooked made straight. The Daedalian plan simplified by a look from above - smeared out as it were by the splotch of some master thumb that made the whole involuted, boggling thing one beautiful straight line."



Now, it seems that etymologically Daedalus and thumb are related, as are the words maze and thimble ("dedal")***



So... John Shade's lovemaking with Sybil, her outspread fingers and her "thimbleful" of tea, seem to announce, long beforehand, a Daedaliam maze, a soaring flight, a synthesis of sun and star in a cup....That's plexed artistry!



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

* JS: "Yes! It sufficed that I in life could find / Some kind of link-and-bobolink, some kind / Of correlated pattern in the game,/ Plexed artistry, and something of the same/ Pleasure in it as they who played it found...."



** - King James Bible: Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: (Isaiah 40:3; 42::16, 49:11)


*** - In French: "et m'offris/ Un doigt de thé..." ( doigt=finger)

My google led me to what seems to be wiki in Catalán:

Wikiccionari
Dedal: Probablament del latin digitalis./Del latin Daedalus, sortit del grèc Daídalos./ Nom comun: dedal, Objècte metallic de talha pichona e conic que se met per protegir lo det de la fissada de l'agulha pendent la cordura; Laberint.
Thimble: De l'anglés ancian þ?mel, ligat al mot thumb ("poce").






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