NABOKV-L post 0015808, Fri, 14 Dec 2007 13:52:47 -0200

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Re: THOUGHTS: Zemblan Havamal
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M. Roth wrote: What follows may be already known to many--so much so that it has escaped comment by critics of PF?--but it was news to me, so I will share. In PF, note to line 79, Kinbote gives us the "charming quatrain" from the "Zemblan counterpart of the Elder Edda." Is it common knowledge that this quatrain is based on a similar passage in the Elder Edda's "Havamal" (str. 81)?I don't attach much significance to the differences between the two (except perhaps in the addition of "tumbled") but as I said, it was news to me that there exists a true source for the Zemblan quatrain.

Jansy Mello: Thanks for sharing this news with us. So here again we get to the "tumble"...

I was trying to remember any Nabokovian reference to Christmas celebrations, with garlands and presents and carol singing ( something "nutcrackery").
The only one that came to my mind is a child's unpleasant experience related to fondlings while being held up to hang a star on the tree ( in Ada and in SM, I think).
Angels are not necessarily related to Xmas, but in PF we find a reference to the three Magi and, perhaps, to Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night".
Nativity scenes with grottoes, manger and cradle are fundamental representations and, while I was musing about that, I returned to my favorite rendering ( Nabokov's, of course) about the "two eternities of darkness" that surround us.
There is a similar experience described by Shakespeare and I had never related it to VN's qualms with rocking cradles. Here it is:
"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exists and their entrances" ( As You Like it 2/7)

Although this convoluted message is a peculiar way to wish you all a Merry Christmas season and happy New Year, this is what I originally had in mind when I started to recollect signficant passages in VN's works...
Happy 2008 to you all.
Jansy

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