Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0027442, Fri, 28 Jul 2017 16:53:17 -0700

Re: Alternate solution for Hazel's message in the barn,
in Pale Fire
I'd like to make an addendum to my post:

My thesis is entitled "ART, ALCHEMY, AND FAILED TRANSCENDENCE, A Jungian Perspective of Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire", so I am looking at Jung's archetypes of anima/animus and his interest in alchemy, especially the union of opposites, (hieros gamos, or "sacred marriage"). The myth of Atalanta was called by Ovid, "The Marriage of Art and Nature". I believe this is also the overarching "synthetic" theme, beyond all the levels of plot, and I have to believe that the trickiest puzzle Nabokov presents us in the book would surely contain the greater theme rather than just the level of the plot (Padre do not go...").

I also feel quite sure that the message is to Hazel, not her "Padre". Kinbote tells us that he somewhat resembles Hazel Shade. How is that? Nabokov stresses the "contrapuntal" theme, with mirrors, reflections, oppositions, etc. I see them as Jungian mirror images; Kinbote is overidentified with his "anima", as Hazel is with her "animus". Hazel, like Atalanta and Swift's Vanessa, is a woman endowed with "masculine" intellect, and bound not to marry. Kinbote in a seance is urged to marry "Fleur, Fleur, Fleur". I would expect Hazel's message to be mirrored, either as an urge to marry, or a warning NOT to marry, or to hold off until she meets someone worthy of her, as did Atalanta (whose name can be found 3 times in the message).

I would welcome any comments, thanks

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