NABOKV-L post 0017597, Fri, 16 Jan 2009 15:14:52 -0200

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Re: was Two from SKB; renamed VN'S Scots Sources
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Re: [NABOKV-L] was Two from SKB; renamed VN'S Scots SourcesStan K-B: [...] Discussing the bizarre mix of Kirk sermonizing, heavy drinking and lusty couplings, there's a quote from Burns's famous "The Holy Fair": [...]An' monie jobs that day begin, /May end in HOUGHMAGANDIE,/Some ither day ( houghmagandie as fornication)[...] This and similar poems were surely known to many "down south" including VN's Cambridge literary circles? [...]In other words, we need not confine VN's sources of Lowlands dialect to his Scots tutor. [...] does her (PM) confusion over Angus and Hugh MacDiarmid dilute her conclusions &/or falsify her methodology? [...]
Tom Rymour: So houghmagandie was there in plain view all the time in "The Holy Fair"! That was NOT one of the poems spoon-fed to me as a wee boy in Mauchline by the Presbyterian successors of the clerics who denounced Mr Burns in public for what he called: "Just plain forni..."[...] In my day the church fete was a staid affair, alas.
MR: I don't think the McDiarmid flaw invalidates her larger point[...] For myself, I feel mostly unconcerned with the level of intention we can assign to each particular insight. Priscilla's book is immensely helpful to me for what it reveals about VN's source material (written without the help of the internet!)[...] I feel the same way about Boyd's monograph [...]In fact, I'm perfectly at ease accepting Boyd and Meyer simultaneously (though I don't share their their level of certainty).

JM: I agree with MR in relation to books written about VN, his life and his work: it's impossible to fully ascertain most "authorial intentions" ( should they've been deliberate, or not!) or what preyed on VN's mind even when he, himself, chose to speak about them.

This is actually independent from "critical ecumenism," for we have no proffered Bible, but a playful competent author who expects from each one of us that we make up our minds or provide our own interpretations.I may be wrong ( I'm used to it, now), but I think it is also part of VN's game to have us imagine what kind of reader, in his eyes, would interpret Pale Fire as having been written by one or by more different authors or who would understand this instead of that, aso. A game-distancing effect?
I think PF's openness for varying and divergent interpretations may be one of the jokes VN directed at us.

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