Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0017382, Mon, 24 Nov 2008 04:54:10 +0000

Re: the singing gives birth to light
"The word gives birth to reason, the
singing gives birth to light,"Now substituting singing for a gift and taking it to a different poem (in Russian, called "Есть речи - значенье") with "small grammar slip" for which Michail Yurevich Lermontov did not find replacement, let me offer one, substituting 'дар' for 'пламя' in the third stanza:Не встретит ответа Средь шума мирскогоИз дара и светаРождённое слово;Not a big deal, of course, but what I like in this substitution is consistency with my reading of "The Gift" (and "Pale Fire") where, I think, light ('свет') is used as elaborate metaphor for gift ('дар'), and vice versa.- George Shimanovich

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