NABOKV-L post 0027746, Tue, 8 May 2018 09:14:00 -0700

Subject
Re: John Shade as Japanese Fish
From
Date
Body
The dragon dressing gown would seem to substantiate somewhat the myth
aspect of the Hokusai image.



If I may, as I am investigating the Jungian influences in Pale Fire, I’d
like to add that the dragon is a major alchemical symbol, and subtle
illusions to it are found in Pale Fire. I find that the process of alchemy
is followed out through the novel.



Carl Jung was the major exponent of alchemy as a psychological/spiritual
process. Writing largely though the 20’s and 30’s it would seem quite
probable that Nabokov would have been familiar with his studies. According
to Jung:



*“The dragon itself is a monstrum – a symbol combining the chthonic
principle of the serpent and the aerial principle of the bird. It is, as
Ruland says, a ‘variant’ of Mercurius. But Mercurius is the divine winged
Hermes manifest in matter, the god of revelation, lord of thought and
sovereign psychopomp.” (Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, P.292)*



Dragons, as we know, guard the treasure and must be slain.





Interestingly, Shade does not deign to wear the gift. Kinbote foists it
upon him, just as he does his story, projecting his self-worship onto his
hero-worship. ("Gift", as we know from *Dar *is synonymous with spiritual
apprehension and creativity.)




Another instance of “dragon” is perhaps alluded to at the Villa
Libitina. Gradus
is shown around the Villa by the enticing young Gordon, who either is a
shapeshifter, or Kinbote is getting salaciously carried away by this
“faunlet”. Faunus is the Latin name of Pan. Gordon is a musical prodigy. In
this turnaround Pan plays classical rather than rustic music. He is seen
drinking from a pipe, though.



Pan was the dragon/goat god of the ancient Arcadians. If you were to play
a word-golf game, changing one letter and then creating an anagram,
“Gordon” becomes “dragon”.


The "versipel" aspect of the dragon is suggested for both Gordon and
Shade's dragon-skin dressing gown


The dragon also has connections with other alchemical symbols found in PF,
the Sphinx and the Toad, but too much to go into here, but the main idea is
transformation and transcendence.


Mary




On Mon, May 7, 2018 at 10:38 AM, Roth, Matthew <mroth@messiah.edu> wrote:

> Thanks to Brian for the lovely Hokusai illustrations. Had I checked
> Brian's LoA notes to PF before I sent my original message, I would have
> seen that he lays out the allusion to Hokusai there. I tend to agree that
> VN probably did not know of the legend behind the image, however Gerard de
> Vries, off-list, reminded me that Kinbote tries to dress Shade in a
> "veritable dragon skin of oriental chromas, fit for a samurai" (C. 181). So
> Shade-as-Dragon does have a companion image in the text. Food for thought.
>
> Cheers,
> Matt
>
> On 4/30/18, Brian Boyd <b.boyd@auckland.ac.nz> wrote:
> > I asked Véra Nabokov was the fish image in Pale Fire a homage to Hokusai?
> > With a smile, she said Yes. So I think that settles the matter.
> >
> >
> > I have loved Hokusai's work for over forty years. He's incomparably
> > the greatest Japanese artist. I had three Hokusai prints in my part of
> > the On the Origin of Art
> > exhibition?<https://mona.net.au/museum/exhibitions/past-exhibitions/on
> > -the-origin-of-art> at the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart,
> > Tasmania, 2016-17, including the Great Wave (the last and culminating
> > piece in the show).
> >
> >
> > Here's the better known of his carp in waterfall (two fish--one could
> > imagine that the lower one is not going to make it; but we can suspect
> > that Nabokov knew only the image, not the legend) and a Hokusai carp
> > image I like even more, almost monochrome, with two turtles also
> > enjoying the water and its ripples.
> >
> >
> > Brian Boyd
> >
> >
> > ________________________________
> > From: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU> on behalf of
> > Roth, Matthew <mroth@MESSIAH.EDU>
> > Sent: Tuesday, 1 May 2018 6:18 a.m.
> > To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
> > Subject: [NABOKV-L] John Shade as Japanese Fish
> >
> > Near the end of Kinbote's note to line 691 ("the attack"), he pictures
> > JS "squirming up the college hall stairs as a Japanese fish up a
> cataract"
> > (250). Kinbote seems to think we will understand the image, and indeed
> > it turns out that the carp ascending a waterfall is a common image in
> > Japanese art. There is even a story to go with the image, as told here
> > by M. McLean from his 1889 book, Echoes of Japan:
> >
> > The Carp Ascending The Waterfall.
> > It is a common sight to see, on Japanese works of art, and in
> > picture-books, a carp trying to swim against a strong current or
> > waterfall. This allegorical picture has a very interesting history,
> > and is derived from a Chinese story. In some part of China there is a
> > strong current, called Rio-mon, or Dragon's Gate. This stream is
> > looked upon as sacred; so that, if any fish succeeds in scaling it, it
> > becomes a dragon. The passage is very difficult, it being rocky and
> > steep, and every fish except the carp fails in the attempt.
> >
> > Other versions make clear that only one of a thousand carp ascends to
> > the top and is transformed. The others remain mere fish in the pool
> > below. I see at least three connections to PF in this story. First, it
> > is a story of animal metamorphosis-a theme associated with Hazel (wood
> > duck, trying on furs, Vanessa). It is also a story of the passage into
> > immortality-certainly a theme of the novel, played out in myriad ways.
> > Thirdly, we might see a transmuted version of the Gradus ad Parnassum,
> > as Shade ascends the academic stairs. Did he make it to the top? I
> > think he did. Perhaps others can do more with the image/allusion.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Matt Roth
> >
> > PS. I have attached a representative image of the koi's ascent
> >
> > .CS UTF-8
> > Archive
> > Search:<http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu
> > &hl=en%0A>
> > Google
> > <http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&hl=en%
> > 0A>
> > ___
> > L-Soft <https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A0=NABOKV-L>
> >
> > Contact<mailto:dana.dragunoiu@gmail.com,nabokv-l@utk.edu,shvabrin@humn
> > et.ucla.edu> the
> > Editors<mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu>
> > <http://www.nabokovonline.com>
> > <http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm>
> > Policies<http://web.utk.edu/%7Esblackwe/EDNote.htm>
> > ___
> > Options<http://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=NABOKV-L>
> > Nabokov Studies<https://muse.jhu.edu/journal/257> (Journal)
> > <http://web.utk.edu/%7Esblackwe/EDNote.htm>
> > NOJ<http://www.nabokovonline.com>
> > ___
> > Zembla<http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm>
> >
> > <http://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=NABOKV-L>
> Chercheurs
> > Enchantés (French VN Society)
> > <http://www.vladimir-nabokov.org/association/chercheurs-enchantes/73>
> > AdaOnline<http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/> NSJ
> > <http://vnjapan.org/main/ada/index.html> Ada
> > Annotations<http://vnjapan.org/main/ada/index.html> VN Bibliography
> > Blog<http://vnbiblio.com/>
> > All private editorial communications are read by both co-editors.
> >
> > Search archive with Google:
> > http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&HL=en
> >
> > Contact the Editors:
> > mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,dana.dragunoiu@gmail.com,shvabrin@humnet.ucla.
> > edu
> > Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
> > Nabokov Studies: https://muse.jhu.edu/journal/257 Chercheurs
> > Enchantes:
> > http://www.vladimir-nabokov.org/association/chercheurs-enchantes/73
> > Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
> > Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com
> > AdaOnline: "http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/ The Nabokov Society of
> > Japan's Annotations to Ada:
> > http://vnjapan.org/main/ada/index.html
> > The VN Bibliography Blog: http://vnbiblio.com/ Search the archive with
> > L-Soft:
> > https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A0=NABOKV-L
> >
> > Manage subscription options
> > :http://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=NABOKV-L
> >
>
> Search archive with Google:
> http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&HL=en
>
> Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,dana.dragunoiu@gmail.com,
> shvabrin@humnet.ucla.edu
> Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
> Nabokov Studies: https://muse.jhu.edu/journal/257 Chercheurs Enchantes:
> http://www.vladimir-nabokov.org/association/chercheurs-enchantes/73
> Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
> Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com
> AdaOnline: "http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/ The Nabokov Society of Japan's
> Annotations to Ada: http://vnjapan.org/main/ada/index.html
> The VN Bibliography Blog: http://vnbiblio.com/ Dieter Zimmer Website:
> http://www.d-e-zimmer.de/index.htm
> Search the archive with L-Soft: https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-
> cgi-bin/wa?A0=NABOKV-L
>
> Manage subscription options :http://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-
> cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=NABOKV-L
>
> Search archive with Google:
> http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&HL=en
>
> Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,dana.dragunoiu@gmail.com,
> shvabrin@humnet.ucla.edu
> Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
> Nabokov Studies: https://muse.jhu.edu/journal/257
> Chercheurs Enchantes: http://www.vladimir-nabokov.
> org/association/chercheurs-enchantes/73
> Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
> Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com
> AdaOnline: "http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/
> The Nabokov Society of Japan's Annotations to Ada:
> http://vnjapan.org/main/ada/index.html
> The VN Bibliography Blog: http://vnbiblio.com/
> Dieter Zimmer Website: http://www.d-e-zimmer.de/index.htm
> Search the archive with L-Soft: https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-
> cgi-bin/wa?A0=NABOKV-L
>
> Manage subscription options :http://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-
> cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=NABOKV-L
>

Search archive with Google:
http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&HL=en

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,dana.dragunoiu@gmail.com,shvabrin@humnet.ucla.edu
Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
Nabokov Studies: https://muse.jhu.edu/journal/257
Chercheurs Enchantes: http://www.vladimir-nabokov.org/association/chercheurs-enchantes/73
Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com
AdaOnline: "http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/
The Nabokov Society of Japan's Annotations to Ada: http://vnjapan.org/main/ada/index.html
The VN Bibliography Blog: http://vnbiblio.com/
Dieter Zimmer Website: http://www.d-e-zimmer.de/index.htm
Search the archive with L-Soft: https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A0=NABOKV-L

Manage subscription options :http://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=NABOKV-L