NABOKV-L post 0019153, Tue, 19 Jan 2010 13:46:41 -0200

Re: THOUGHT on Shade as poet
JM: I wish I were knowledgeable enough to opine qua Stan K-Bootle's, John Morris' (and other experts) exchanges on VN and English poetry, but I must remain truly yours in my admiration of such rich and elegant debates (It's also difficult for me to brave long-standing standard appraisals about poetry in general and I was recently surprised when I came to the lonely conclusion that the sonnets by the Portuguese Camões are far superior to Shakespeare's, although in ways I'm unable to describe coherently.)

Aisenberg's recollection of "stang" in The Gift is a valuable addition giving information on its context ("characters on grim journeys to commit suicide"). This precious find doesn't contradict Jerry's comments.

Matthew Roth, great piece on "lind" to "lime" in spatial proximity to "stang". There's Berlin and "Unter den Linden" and there's Marcel Proust's infusion with a "madeleine" (the leaves are from the "tilleuil", ie, linden trees).
Nabokov returns to the tilleuil theme, criticizing Proust's theory about involuntary memory and "linde/lind" also in TOoL, thru his character Adam Linde, later signed Adam Lind.

Jim, what a curious journalistic piece about a forthcoming edition of PF, with the poem, nothing but the poem published with someone else impersonating Charles Kinbote! Is this seriously intended?

John Morris [to Stan K-B's I appreciate your opposing views expressed with such elegant tolerance]"Thanks for the "elegant," Stan, and as for the tolerance, I only hope all forums everywhere exhibit the same courtesy and respect that ours does. "
Sandy Klein sent:
"Ultimately, despite the lively prose, part of me was saddened (aside from being perplexed) to read Nabokov's work so incomplete and unpolished. But anyone who criticizes Dmitri's decision, I daresay, is a hypocrite."
J.Aisenberg: "... the word 'stang' was, I believe used in The Gift as well. I think it was in the second chapter...Perhaps Yuri Leving, creator of the wonderful The Gift Project can either confirm or deny my memory here. If I'm right it seems very interesting that N should have used the same word in two novels about in almost exactly the same dramatic contexts: characters on grim journeys to commit suicide!"
Jerry Friedman:(on "stang") "Shade would like to spot a rare wall fern as he's being led to his execution. To him, I suspect, mere natural words and syntax in a poem would be a surrender. I think the attitude he's displaying here is like the defiance to tyrants that Nabokov recommended in "The Art of Literature and Commonsense"...think the idea was more that that's how Nabokov knew the word or why it meant something to him. I don't think Nabokov's characters always behave with perfect psychological plausibility. If he wants a word to be used, he has one of his galley slaves use it. ( to Twigg's "incidentally, Stan, it's good to have you back"...) I'm tempted to suggest that "stang" looked forward to "Stan", but Nabokov probably wasn't that prescient.
M.Roth: I like VF's note about the Russian for goalpost. That seems a very likely association. I would like to supplement it with another...In PF, his note about the Kong-Skugg-Sio has its origins in an entry in N&Q... Here, in the left column, is a description of the origins of the term "lime-tree," tracing its derivation from "lind" to "line" to "lime." Kinbote, of course, notes this same etymology in his note on Shakespeare's trees.
Jim Twiggs (to S K-B's Pale-Fire-the-isolated-poem ... the poem and nothing but the poem) would , continuing my what-if, enter the honoured VN canon, in fully annotated editions WITH NUMBERED LINES ASSIGNED! One can even imagine editions accruing near-Kimbotean footnotes and critical baggage, since, at least some of the novel's CK notes are genuine, accurate comments on allusions and events in the-PF-poem-qua-poem, and could be independently divined by scholars without CK's help.] Of course, my fantasy is just that. PF-the-cantos could not really exist as self-contained poem signed by VN. The PF-poem was specifically engineered as an integral part of the complex masterpiece known as PF-the-novel. Although I, for one, greatly appreciate your good letter, I fear you underestimate the ambitions of the Nabokov industry. For their next trick, according to R.S. Gwynn in a post dated 11/1/09, they are planning an edition very like the one you describe.

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