NABOKV-L post 0018856, Wed, 25 Nov 2009 14:00:28 -0200

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[NABOKOV-L] Evanescent Kings according to Dave Haan and TOoL
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It seems that this item hasn't yet been brought up in the list (although Kingly disappearances and evanescence were often discussed)and this is why I selected the elegant and definite solution which has been put forward by Dave Haan in his blog, concerning the disappearance of a King and "evanescence" (Cf.http://nnyhav.blogspot.com/2005/10/errata-tat-tat.html ) as in:
Kinbote, C894: [Shade:] "Kings do not die--they only disappear, eh, Charles?"
and further, "Why, sir, I am afraid you have only punctured the difficulty" [laughing uproariously] "Flatman," quipped I. [...]"

The issue is quite pertinent now, when Dr.Wild's wild efforts towards evaporation, effacement and obliteration, is under worldwide examination along with TOoL. Dave quotes from DeQuincey and offers a very erudite chain of links:

DeQuincey's Confessions: The reader may choose to think of him as possibly no more than a sublunary druggist; it may be so, but my faith is better: I believe him to have evanesced, or evaporated. So unwillingly would I connect any mortal remembrances with that hour, and place, and creature, that first brought me acquainted with the celestial drug.
DeQuincey's note: Evanesced. - this way of going off the stage of life appears to have been well known in the 17th century, but at that time to have been considered a peculiar privilege of blood-royal, and by no means to be allowed to druggists. For about the year 1686, a poet of rather ominous name (and who, by the bye, did ample justice to his name), viz., Mr. Flat-man, in speaking of the death of Charles II expresses his surprise that any prince should commit so absurd an act as dying; because, says he,
"Kings should disdain to die, and only disappear."
They should abscond, that is, into the other world.
Barry Milligan's note: Misquoted from 'On the Much Lamented Death of Our Late Sovereign Lord King Charles II, of Blessed Memory, a Pindaresque Ode' by Thomas Flatman (1637-88), 21-5: "But Princes (like the wondrous Enoch) should be free/From Death's Unbounded Tyranny,/And when their Godlike Race is run,/And nothing glorious left undone,/Never submit to Fate, but only disappear."
My note: Restoration comedy, to be sure...Kinbote's commentary on this [C98]: "A reference to the title of Keats' famous sonnet...which, owing to a printer's absent-mindedness, has been drolly transposed, from some other article, into the account of a sports event. For other vivid misprints see note to line 802." -- which is really in C803 ('misprint', giving an instance of 'paradiorthosis', or incorrect correction; TSEliot adapted the term to proverb-modifiers). C802 is on 'mountain', which Kinbote ties back to C149. Full circle, glorious revolution [...]
[Cf.Pale Fire, Kinbote, C149 (Charles II, escaping through Zembla, atop a mountain pass): ... a tender haze enveloped more distant ridges which led to one another in an endless array, through every grade of soft evanescence."]

Would a more efficient Gradus have destroyed King Charles II, the beloved, in Zembla, inspite of magic drugs? Did Dr. Wild have access to evanescing drugs? Are "words" the necessary drugs that pave the way for survival?

PS: Thanks, Dave, for this most stimulating note and blog.

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