NABOKV-L post 0015680, Tue, 20 Nov 2007 14:54:16 -0500

Re: QUERY: Source for Disa in PF
Dear Don,
-- continuing your observation: perhaps
Disa/Pardisa should be considered in the series:
Emmochka/nemochka [little German] and
Zina/Mnemozina [Mnemosyne], that is, as a
shorthand for the notion that signifies the essence of the name's
carrier -- ?

At 05:23 PM 11/17/2007, you wrote:
>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 CharlesÂ’ 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

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