NABOKV-L post 0015677, Sat, 17 Nov 2007 14:23:37 -0800

Subject
Re: QUERY: Source for Disa in PF
Date
Body
I thank Alexei Sklyarenko for his suggestion of Bunin's "Diza" in re
Pale Fire's Queen Disa. There is, however, a more direct source. I
quote from my essay in the recent Festschrift for Alexander Dolinin.

King Charles’ Queen Disa (the name of a legendary Swedish queen) is
directly correlated with the South Africa orchid (Disa uniflora),
uniquely pollinated by the Mountain Beauty butterfly (Aeropetes
tulbaghia). King Charles brings her a bouquet of these large,
brilliant red flowers after his escape from Zembla. Although repelled
by her “unfortunate gender,” the king is in love with a dream version
of Disa in which she “becomes a bird of wonder in a tale for children”
(209). The exiled Queen lives on the Riviera in an elegant home
originally named Villa Paradiso or in Zemblan the Villa ParaDISA.
After her doting grandfather gives her the home, its name is shortened
to the Villa Disa (204-05). The avian connection lies in the earlier
name Paradisa or paradise and suggests the most beautiful of all bird
groups—the Paradisaeidae or Bird of Paradise family found in the New
Guinea area. Lest this association seem far fetched, I cite Ada in
which Lucette, another spurned woman, is specifically identified as a
bird of paradise, probably the Cicinnurus regiusi (Johnson 169-170).
Nor is Disa the only bird of paradise lingering behind the scenes.
----------------
For more information see the Wikipedia entry on Disa.

Best, Don




Quoting NABOKV-L <NABOKV-L@HOLYCROSS.EDU>:

> Diza, a poem by Bunin:
>
> http://bunin.niv.ru/bunin/stihi/152.htm
>
> Alexey Sklyarenko
>
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