NABOKV-L post 0019300, Mon, 1 Feb 2010 18:35:39 -0200

Re: THOUGHT Abstractist Bric-A-Brac (PF,the poem)

Matt Roth: I have been gently corrected. Braque was, of course, a cubist, not an abstract expressionist. This fact does not, however, alter my larger assertion: that Shade is primarily referring to painting here, not poetry. There could, of course, be a secondary allusion to Stevens, but I find the evidence inconclusive.

JM: I agree with Matt's point of view about VN's (and Shade's) reference to painting, not to poetry. Actually, the wordplay with "Braque and bric-a-brac" is very misleading. If Shade has "the shakes," this is not applicable to Nabokov! (this item is amply ellaborated in "Speak, Memory," and I remember particular also his references to Picasso and to cubism, in "Pnin."). Since I'm still occupied with TOoL one thing has just struck me: if, in "Pale Fire" we find Shade outlining "methods of composition,", in TOoL Philip Wild is busy with his own "methods of decomposition."

Jerry: It seems that Lucette represents "Artemisia", as Queen Ada's sister leading us to the "Common Mugwort Artemisia Vulgaris, L. Felon-herb, Sailor's Tobacco". Therefore Lucette has to be distinguished from the "Artemisia dracunculus L." (dragon's-wort, tarragon, estragon) and the "Artemisia tridentata" (sage-brush). A task for botanists. The "nicotine" branching into Tobacco and rabbit-doctor Nikulin is also mysterious.

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