NABOKV-L post 0017873, Mon, 9 Mar 2009 19:17:27 -0300

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THOUGHTS: More bits of S in K, and vice-versa
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M.Roth answered [ JM to Carolyn: I'll be convinced by your interesting theory after you show Shadian bits and pieces shining thru, or around K]:
Okay, I'll bite...Item one: The three birds (shadow, fluff, bird that flies on in reflected sky) in Shade's opening lines seem to remarkably align with Gradus, Shade, and Kinbote; item2,3.4.... There are more glimmers than these, but that's enough for now.

JM: Fascinating examples, particularly items 5 and 7.
Item no.1 has been widely discussed in past Pale Fire revivals. You may also find, in an indirect connection to it,"Double Darkness through Glass, Mirror, Lake: Art as a Window to the Hereafter," (Zembla on-line) where I approach a biblical versicle to a line in K's Foreword (i.e "in a glass, darkly") and to Shade's vision "through the dark glass" of his study.* . In another note, "Time before and Time after in Nabokovs novels" (The Nabokovian, 2005, no.55) you'll find a paragraph about the various uses of the pronoun "I" in J.Shade's opening verses. **

C. Kunin [ to JM: it is still possible to conjecture that Kinbote had been referring to himself (your favorite=my favorite)]: Could you give me another example where "your x" = "my x" (spare me casas) or explain what you mean. I can't see it. I'm also not sure if you are arguing for this interpretation?
JM: I was tempted by your interpretation on who is it that Kinbote invokes by "your favourite" ( you argue it is John Shade addressing Sybil & shining thru him). I wish I could remember where (besides novelist Julio Cortázar) one may find the narrator referring to himself in the second person singular. I'd just been questioning Kinbote's second person plural in "our shadows walk" and this is why this "you=I" occurred to me.

J.Friedman: By popular demand (Jansy has requested this a couple of times, and Matt recently mentioned that he was having trouble with the same thing), I attach a speculative plan of the Shade and Goldsworth (Kinbote) houses and environs...
JM: Awesome! I toiled in vain with such a project and gave it up despairingly. May we practice with it? For example, where lies the lake? ( "I cannot understand why from the lake I could make out our front porch when I'd take Lake Road to school...The fragile vista, the frame house between Goldsworth and Wordsmith on its square of green."), how does the sunset (taking place at the left of your drawing) promote reflections from Sutton's windows which may be seen by Shade? I haven't attempted to see the shadows cast by the sun in the last scene.
Do you think that Shade's house, instead of lying in "parallel" to Goldsworth's, could offer one corner to enable Kinbote to roam about and have only one side of it closed to peeping? Perhaps all the houses may be turned a little? We might also add a swing to the shagbark or the garbage can with its noisy lid in Shade's backyard...
Your drawing made everything much easier to follow or to imagine. It must have taken you days of hard work!
I hope you consider my observations as an expression of old perplexities,only. I haven't yet really started to stroll along your avenues and my present questions must be easy to answer.








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*The waxwing smashes against a reflected sky and Shade's study has its objects (a) reflected in a dark glass, (b) projected onto the snowy landscape and (c) glimpsed in a composite image through the glass. Kinbote describes the relationship between man and the creator as in a mirror ( a narcissistic outlook.) whereas John Shade, on the contrary, harmonizes both views (in a glass and through a glass, darkly ). although he dismissed K's "creator."
** The first "I" refers to the shadow of a waxwing; the second "I" is that which observes how a mirror induced the bird into confusing a "real sky" and an "imaginary sky". The third "I" survives the shock against the glass because the narrator's "I" divides it two: a "a smudge of ashen fluff" and a living reflection that lives on in the reflected sky.



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