NABOKV-L post 0015828, Sat, 22 Dec 2007 12:08:28 EST

Re: C Kunin replies on how VN saw Shade
In a message dated 12/22/2007 10:33:26 AM Central Standard Time,
chaiselongue@EARTHLINK.NET writes:
> Dear Anthony Stadlen,
> I have never really doubted the quality of the poem within the context of
> the novel, though I do believe it is marred (intentionally by Nabokov) by the
> strokes Shade suffers during the writing of the fourth canto. It is clear
> from the quotes you cite that the poem was never to be published as a poem by a
> poet named Shade.
Shade apparently has a heart attack or cardiac arrest, not a stroke (l. 694).
The symptoms mimic those of his childhood "fits." If by "strokes" you mean
his foot's falling asleep (n. 991), this is hardly evidence of a stroke.
Besides, the poem is already finished at this point.

I don't believe that Shade ever planned to write l. 1000 but to let it be
assumed by the reader. Leaving the poem at 999 lines makes l. 500 the central
line of this very symmetrical poem, and that line marks Hazel's death.

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