Re: Jerry Friedman on Index poem, Dunciad, from CHW
Nabokov clearly saw nothing wrong with mentioning something of cardinal
importance to him in a poem that uses a strained rhyme associated with "comic and
curious verse". I'm suggesting that he intended no misjudgement or
inartistry on Shade's part when he made Shade do the same thing.
He also mentions:
the apparatus criticus to the Dunciad, which I didn't know about and am sure
is more important to /Pale Fire/ than Frost's /New Hampshire/ is.
Matthew appears to have accepted, at least in part, my distinction between
poetry and verse, and considers the Index quatrain to be verse, but I've
failed to persuade Jerry, it seems. No matter.
Searching for more on The Dunciad, via Google, I came across this site:
Besides containing a large slab of The Dunciad, Book 4, which demonstrates
how utterly un-Pope-like are the limping feet of John Shade, and compared with
which PF, the "poem", could hardly be described as inartistic, let alone
merely competent, the site also contains a cornucopia of wordplay of such
staggering, mind-blowing ingenuity as to bankrupt credulity.
Is Richard Brodie a computer? Has anyone come across him before? The several
pages in his name are so fantastically clever that I'm stunned. Gob-smacked,
as they say in England. I wonder if he's turned his attention to Vladimir
Nabokov. Reading just a few of Brodie's compositions has left me with a sort of
dead, burnt-out feeling. An eat-your-heart-out sensation situation.
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