NABOKV-L post 0022304, Thu, 12 Jan 2012 09:02:06 -0200

Subject
IPH and a poetic parnassus
Date
Body
Reconsidering Shade's chapter about IPH, at which the poet had been hired as a lecturer, I was led to imagine that John Shade must have been as prepared to discourse on the Hereafter as any Buddhist, Freudian fish or communist ideologue - unless the seriousness of his enterprise should derive from his poetic genius and critical acumen in relation to other writers's immortal writings.

Kinbote relates Shade's coinage of the word iridule to a Zemblan "peacock herl", "alder" and to "strange nacreous dreams," thereby leading the reader away from the original rainbow-transparency towards the satiny gleam of a sea-shell.

As an American poet Shade was linked to his childhood experiences in New Wye, not to Russian or Zemblan reminiscences and landscape. His literary Parnassus was different from Vladimir Nabokov's to whom an iridule* could serve as a reference to Pushkin's voice, if one remembers that (according to Field) in the Russian Parnassus "Pushkin is a rainbow over all the land"?


........................................................
*... and that rare phenomenon
The iridule-when, beautiful and strange,
In a bright sky above a mountain range
One opal cloudlet in an oval form
Reflects the rainbow of a thunderstorm
Which in a distant valley has been staged-

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