NABOKV-L post 0017478, Tue, 16 Dec 2008 13:59:05 -0200

Re: QUERY: Bend Sinister poem?
Tim Henderson: Anybody have a copy of Bend Sinister handy? There's a poem I wanted to quote -- I remember it as some version of the Shakespeare Timon of Athens passage from which the title of Pale Fire is drawn -- "The moon is an arrant thief" -- but different. Can someone help me? Thanks!

JM: I have a copy handy, but I fear this is not all that is needed to find the quote. There's a lot on Ophelia, Hamlet, Fortinbras which I could discern, not Timon of Athens, though.
I tried to follow VN's hint in his Foreword but I'm not informed enough to identify most of his allusions. What I read in Ch.3, was: "The unfinished translation of his favourite lines in Shakespeare's greatest play -
follow the perttaunt jauncing 'neath the rack
with her pale skeins-mate.
crept up tentatively but it would not scan because in his native tongue 'rack' was anapaestic. Like pulling a grand piano through a door. Take it to pieces..."

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