Here is some more on Masonry in Pale Fire:
In PF Kinbote cites a Shadean variant:
“I am not slave! Let be my critic slave.
I cannot be. And Shakespeare would not want thus.
Let drawing students copy the acanthus
I work with Master on the architrave.”
The original Freemasons were in fact, stonemasons. This does not mean that they sweated in the sun laying bricks. Master masons were architects of palaces and churches and designers of all the fancy embellishments. Apprentice masons learned by copying designs with the compass and square (the masonic symbols). The acanthus was a common design element, but the designing of the architrave is a unique work of art by a Master mason.
This suggests that the master artist is inspired directly by the Grand Architect of the Universe. Masons believe in laying the “steps” (gradus) of personal evolution towards eventually having a direct apprehension of divinity.
VN mentions the “modern architect” (i.e. inept) in a variant to Line 57:
“All doors have keys. Your modern architect
Is in collusion with psychanalysts:”
One could assume that he only uses “architect” as a lead-in to a usual dig on Freud’s Primal Scene.” But this comes right after the word “keys.” There is also a misprint of “psychoanalyst.” Nabokov, we know, was extremely careful with his words, and fastidious with misprints.
It turns out the Masons really like Jung! Even though Shade/VN is denigrating Freud, he tends to lump all psychoanalysts as “quacks”, etc. He ludicrously mentions two other psychoanalysts in PF, so we might say that it is a PF trope to consider. Perhaps he felt that the traditional Masons (i.e. ‘architects’) were becoming too modern psychology oriented.