NABOKV-L post 0017691, Thu, 12 Feb 2009 02:47:03 -0200

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Re: THOUGHTS re: Botkin, V.
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Steve Arons: "The words of the grotesquely named Eberthella reported by Kinbote in the sequel also contain an implication about Kinbote's identity[...]

JM: Since Eberthella Hurley was mentioned in the discussion concerning Kinbote/Botkin and "recto/verso", I wondered if the name Eberthella could be a corruption of Ethelbert and if the latter could be related to Kinbote and Pale Fire.

There is an "Eberthella" bacteria related to typhoid fever in humans ( named after Eberth who first discovered the bacillus). But the name Ethelbert ( or Aethelbert, as registered by Priscilla Meyer) offers new clues. According to her (SWTSHH pg 72-73) there is an anedocte related to Eadbald, son of Aethelbert, "who'd been threaten by heaven with frequent 'wodheartness, or madness of mood.' Nabokov connects Kinbote's homosexual activities and madness to this report through the Anglo-Saxon word wod [...]".

Meyer quotes Kinbote's words (note to lines 47-48) about Goldsworth's house, "of a type called wodnaggen in my country" and she also mentions that (pg.67-68) "several important Anglo-Saxon words are smuggled into Pale Fire. The name of Oswin Bretwit[...] recalls brewalda, literally 'Britain ruler' ", as was Aethelbert, Sigeberht and other rulers at the time of conversion into Roman Catholicism.

btw: King Charles, the Beloved was left-handed.

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