NABOKV-L post 0018742, Tue, 3 Nov 2009 23:24:55 -0600

Subject
Re: Fw: [NABOKV-L] Frost/Shade Query
Date
Body
http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/socher.htm
The material regarding frost starts about half way down. In particular, the
quoted poem "Of a Winter Evening" is a fairly strong tie. While Frost was
not the only model for Shade, Nabokov was certainly very aware of the man
and his work, having lived almost in his shadow--renting Frost's house (a la
Kinbote's habituation) and appearing along with him at several poetry
readings.
~cs

On Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 11:08 AM, jansymello <jansy@aetern.us> wrote:

> *Fran Assa: "I understand Robert Frost was intended to be the model for
> John Francis Shade in Pale Fire, but I don't know why people have come to
> that conclusion. Any ideas?" *
>
> *JM: *Kinbote* *was careful to quote Frost ("I dare not quote from memory
> lest I displace one small precious word."). I should have been equally
> careful in my last commentary, now in relation to Shade, who wrote "oozy,"
> not "slimy."[..."as usual just behind/ (one oozy footstep) Frost."]. Perhaps
> what I subconsciously wanted to avoid was its link to swamps, doom and decay
> [ CK in his note to line 270 says he's seen a red admirable "feasting on
> oozy plums" and decaying matter (a dead rabbitt), before he adds that an "almost
> tame specimen of it was the last natural object John Shade pointed out to me
> as he walked to his doom."]
> The mentions to Frost in PF play with diamonds, snow-crystals and time when
> the sctructural quality of Frost's verse is described, together with a
> metaphysical inversion of "temperature" from high into low.
>
> When I was rereading PF and reached line 501 ( right after Hazel's sinking
> in a swamp, in a night of frost), I realized Shade's verses on his
> experience at Yewshade begin with "*L’if*, lifeless tree!" This line
> seems to deny its connection with IPH and rebirth, which the Yew symbolizes.
>
> Would the Zemblan word for the yew ("tas") offer any other indication?*
>
>
> ......................................................................................................................................................................
>
>
> *www.*billcas*selman.com/.../sitemap_one.htm<http://www.billcasselman.com/.../sitemap_one.htm> (On
> "Canada Yew)
> "Yew gave the spelling heebie-jeebies to the Anglo-Saxons, so that we find
> Old English forms like *eow*, *iow*, *iw*, then in Middle English *ew* and
> *ewe*. Cognates of yew are widespread in the Indo-European languages and
> include Old Scandinavian *yr*, German *Eibe*, Welsh *yw*, Old Irish *ibar*,
> Gaelic *iubhar*, Old Slavic *iva*, Gaulish *ivos* and hence Modern French
> *if..."
> *"The yew’s reputation for long life is due to the unique way in which the
> tree grows. Its branches grow down into the ground to form new stems, which
> then rise up around the old central growth as separate but linked trunks.
> After a time, they cannot be distinguished from the original tree. So the
> yew has always been a symbol of death and rebirth, the new that springs out
> of the old.”
>
>
>
> ..........................................................................................................................................
> *Jerry Friedman*: *Both the poem and the notes makes it clear that Shade
> wasn't Frost, so obviously he must have been. QED! Seriously, in my limited
> reading of /Pale Fire/ commentary, I don't remember anything that said Frost
> was the model for Shade... Frost didn't like to use rare words the way Shade
> did. And in my opinion, though Shade has his moments, Frost can be far
> better--Shade and Kinbote hit the nail on the head...I find it hard to
> believe Frost was more than a small part of Nabokov's inspiration. I think
> that if he were The Original of Shade, Nabokov would have researched him
> thoroughly...*
> *V. Mylnikov*: *th**is is a really strong point and I far as I understand
> the nature of Pale Fire, there is no definite prototype or models but
> politype and polimodels... I believe John Shade has some features (poetic)
> from VN himself, from Robert Frost, from Pushkin etc. but I don't think it
> is possible to set a line between them and taxonomy. Again, I think it is a
> great question.
> **M.Glynn*: *There are several links - the fact that Frost is invoked by
> name in the text (p 41 of Penguin edition) is one factor. Shade is also a
> Frostian with his philosophical/transcendental tendencies etc* .
> JM:*"Shade knew quite well that he was "a slimy step behind" him.I suppose
> that snow in New England, school days and puritan childhood must have been
> quite different from what Shade experienced in New Wye."*
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