NABOKV-L post 0026633, Wed, 18 Nov 2015 12:51:26 +0300

Karlists & anti-Karlists in Pale Fire
In his note to Line 12 of Shade's poem Kinbote calls Shade's wife Sybil "a
domestic anti-Karlist." The supporters of Charles the Beloved, the last king
of Zembla, are known as Karlists:

A group of especially devout Extremists calling themselves the Shadows had
got together and swore to hunt down the King and kill him wherever he might
be. They were, in a sense, the shadow twins of the Karlists and indeed
several had cousins or even brothers among the followers of the King. No
doubt, the origin of either group could be traced to various reckless
rituals in student fraternities and military clubs, and their development
examined in terms of fads and anti-fads; but whereas an objective historian
associates a romantic and noble glamor with Karlism, its shadow group must
strike one as something definitely Gothic and nasty. (note to Line 171)

Kinbote began to write his Commentary to Pale Fire soon after Shade's death.
In a letter of 25 Feb. - 8 Mar., 1837 (a month after Pushkin's death), to
Count Benckendorff (the chief of the political police of Nicholas I) V. A.
Zhukovski points out that Pushkin was a Karlist (advocate of Don Carlos, in
the 1830s a pretender to the throne of Spain):

Пушкин был враг Июльской революции. По убеждению своему он был карлист; он
признавал короля Филиппа необходимою гарантиею спокойствия Европы, но права
его опровергал и непотрясаемость законного наследия короны считал главнейшею
опорою гражданского порядка.

Shade's, Kinbote's and Gradus' birthday, July 5, coincides with the date
under the text in the MS of Pushkin's poem "From Pindemonte" (1836). In his
diary Alexander Turgenev (one of Pushkin's staunchest supporters and truest
friends who had helped to enroll young Pushkin in the Lyceum and who
accompanied Pushkin's coffin to the Svyatye Gory monastery) points out that
January 29, the day of Pushkin's death, was Zhukovski's birthday:

29 генваря. День рождения Жуковского и смерти Пушкина. Мне прислали сказать,
что ему хуже да хуже. В 10-м часу я пошел к нему. Жуковский, Велгурский,
Вяземский ночевали там. Князь А. Н. Голицын призвал к себе: рассказал ему о
Пушкине и просил за Данзаса... Описал весь день и кончину Пушкина в двух
письмах для сестрицы.

В 2 3/4 пополудни поэта не стало: последние слова и последний вздох его.
Жуковский, Вяземский, сестра милосердия, Даль, Данзас, доктор закрыл ему

In Chapter Ten of Eugene Onegin (XVI: 9-14) Pushkin mentions Alexander
Turgenev's younger brother Nikolay, the Decembrist:

Одну Россию в мире видя,
Лаская в ней свой идеал,
Хромой Тургенев им внимал
И, слово рабство ненавидя,
Предвидел в сей толпе дворян
Освободителей крестьян.

seeing but Russia in the world,

in her caressing his ideal,

to them did lame Turgenev hearken

and the word slavery hating,

in this crowd of nobles foresaw

the liberators of the peasants.

Pushkin destroyed Chapter Ten of EO on Oct. 19, 1830 (the Lyceum
anniversary). On Oct. 19, 1959, Kinbote completes his work on Shade's poem
and commits suicide.

Alexey Sklyarenko

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