NABOKV-L post 0027526, Mon, 18 Sep 2017 14:13:10 -0700

Re: Hazel's message and other matters
It seems to me Nabokov leaves (intentionally) a lot of things open to interpretation. "Her room" follows "the next babe", so it could be either Hazel or Maud. I just think there is more of a case for Hazel, especially the glass lagoon, not to mention the more believable level of grief.

Hazel was upset that her parents got rid of Maud's dog, presumably because they didn't care, so why would they keep a shrine for the old lady? Maud and Hazel do seem to be in league in the occult arena.

Likewise, the poltergeist activity and spirit in the barn are open to interpretation, depending especially on the reader's beliefs. Same with John Shade's "fits". Nabokov doesn't seem to want to throw his weight onto one side or the other in matters of the occult, at least on the surface of the plot. I've been investigating the allusions, several times removed, of Carl Jung's influence. Jung clearly had occult interests, although, like Nabokov, he walked the razor's edge of belief v assertion.

Sam, your solution to the spirit message is interesting. I'm not sure what "wader" means, though. Somehow I just think the message has to be more essential to the main themes of the book, rather than just the plot level. If I had to offer a succinct interpretation of the main theme, it would be "Art triumphs Nature" (the myth of Atalanta)

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