NABOKV-L post 0027750, Fri, 11 May 2018 12:30:53 -0700

Subject
Re: Pale Fire. Abraham,
Lyndy: "Nabokov's Alchemical Pale Fire." Dutch Quarterly Review
of Anglo-American Letters, 20
Date
Body
Mary, It is so inspiring to see your ideas and originality on the subject.
I will read Lyndy Abrams article with relish. Best of luck and I look
forward to learning more.

On Thu, May 10, 2018 at 12:41 PM, Mary Ross <maryross.illustrator@gmail.com>
wrote:

> I received a very nice and encouraging email from John Granger regarding
> my PF and alchemy thesis. He has alerted me to a paper published in 1995 by
> Lyndy Abraham ("a giant in literary alchemy") titled "Nabokov's Alchemical
> Pale Fire". My previous attempts to google "Pale Fire, alchemy" had not
> turned up anything, so I am thrilled to read this, even if dismayed a bit
> at not being original.
>
> Her insights are about 90% of what I have recognized with some very
> interesting things I am now very pleased to know. She quotes Carl Jung,
> but does not suggest that Nabokov based the alchemy allusions on his work
> in particular. I have a few insights that she does not mention, the most
> important being the crucial role of the myth of Atalanta and the
> Mercurial-Christ image of Balthazar. She also sees John Shade's poem as a
> failure and even bad poetry, without the "quick-silver" of Kinbote. I think
> it is great. She sees the alchemy thread as indicating artistic creation,
> which I firmly believe it is, but I think it also is meant as Jung saw it -
> as psychological and metaphysical and a path of liberation (Individuation
> in Jungian terms).
>
> I plan to continue looking into Jung's archetypes as tropes in PF. I
> believe they, more than, or along with alchemy, explain the relationships
> of the character and their motivations as purposeful parody. Ultimately the
> parody supports what I think is the meta-theme of transcendence (or failed
> transcendence).
>
> I suggest anyone interested read Ms Abraham's wonderfully written,
> scholarly but not too esoteric paper:
>
> Pale Fire - Penn State University Libraries
> https://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/bibpf.htm
> Pale Fire. Abraham, Lyndy: "Nabokov's Alchemical Pale Fire." Dutch
> Quarterly Review of Anglo-American Letters, 20 (2), pp. 102-119
>
> Also, as it turns out, her paper is #1 on the bibliography of Nabokov
> criticism, which I was unaware of! https://www.libraries.psu.edu/
> nabokov/bibpf.htm
>
> I am a Nabokov novice, a reader not a scholar. I post on the listserve in
> the hopes of getting feedback, whether positive or negative.
>
> (Thanks, John!)
>
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The Nabokov Society of Japan's Annotations to Ada: http://vnjapan.org/main/ada/index.html
The VN Bibliography Blog: http://vnbiblio.com/
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