NABOKV-L post 0017952, Sun, 15 Mar 2009 18:44:17 -0300

Re: madness and avian theme in Pale Fire]
SK-B: "Alexey: a word in your final sentence reminds me of one of the worst translations in the history of opera (which has its share),and might be by John Shade in one of his many arresting doggerel moments. From the last Act of Die Meistersinger, that grand anthem to Deutsches Kunst: Chorus: Silentium! Silentium!//No noise, not even the merest hum!"

JM: One of the items of a Frank Muir collection states: "Wagner's music is not as bad as it sounds." Perhaps its coinage could be applied to this translation. Would it be Shadian, though? It's just occurred to me: was he a polyglot or monoglottal?

CK: ... "James story and the wonderful film "The Innocents". The way I read the "T of the S" is open-ended. I do not see any resolution of the ambiguity. However, I would certainly be open to thinking about a possible resolution. The one in the film is only a suggested interpretation - - it still retains and allows the occult explanation of events - - most beautifully and convincingly envisioned, I might add." [...] I thought picadillos did mean tiny sins - - or does it have something to do with bull-fighting? LC called them "portmanteau words" didn't he?

JM: When I first watched the movie, as a little girl, I only grasped the occult explanation.The story left a deep imprint in me and, if not Jane Eyre but certainly "Wuthering Heights" ( with L.Olivier) made its mystery become even the stronger. Those Brontë sisters, Poe... childhood terrors and delights. Yesterday I could only see the lovely hysterical governess, with a lot of imagination and power, beginning to interpret random noises, pauses, innuendoes, school reports and tempests to build a frightening suspense in the end, but no ambiguity like I'd found it in the novel. Perhaps I'm mistaken but, as Molière once said: "Les premiers sentiments sont toujours les plus naturels." and this is also valid for a Pale Fire more traditional interpretation ( a novel I didn't read as a child...). Yesterday, in truth, I felt a kind of kinship bt. Kinbote's delusions and the interpretations made by governess's and it caused me some discomfort, as if their kinship was extensive to me when I try to plum-pick in excess.

There is the picadilly collar, the London circus, an armadillo protection ( I wish the bulls could wear armor ), the picadero (the guy that spits the bull, bull-ring, riding-school, lover's nest).
The "tiny sin" as "pecadillo" may have no relation to SK-B suggested Greek word for a diminutive is present not in "pic" but in "dillo" (or "illo").

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