NABOKV-L post 0015698, Tue, 27 Nov 2007 11:51:41 -0500

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Re: THOUGHTS: Apples in PF
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MR: the "apple on a plate" is ...a typical still-life image... [Cf.]
Wallace Stevens' "The Blue Buildings in the Summer Air":
Look down, Cotton Mather, from the blank./ Was heaven where you thought? It
must be there.
It must be where you think it is, in the light/ On bed-clothes, in an
apple on a plate./ It is the honey-comb of the seeing man.

B.Boyd: ...the "apple on a plate," which incidentally I do not see (pace
R.S. Gwynn) as referring to Shade's childhood ...[...]
I cannot help hearing the "lamp . . . apple" in the next couplet, after the
four reverberating lines on the waxwing, as also duplicating the waxwing or
"Ampelis" in another key.

JM: I tried to substitute "apple" for other fruit or object, only to
ascertain its imagetic and sonorous aptness( well-illustrated by BBoyd's
examples). And yet, in Kinbote's commentaries it would have been possible to
avoid placing such emphasis on Shade's unmellowed red-delicious dislike.
VN is usually very coherent, even at his most playfully deceptive: this is
why this "apple-fortress" became so striking ( the other fortress mentioned
by Kinbote was applied to Shade's own house).

Jansy Mello

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