Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0006903, Sat, 12 Oct 2002 10:09:07 -0700

Fw: more Pale Fire Constellations
more Pale Fire Constellations
----- Original Message -----
From: Carolyn Kunin
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Sent: Friday, October 11, 2002 9:14 PM
Subject: more Pale Fire Constellations

If in referrring to Kinbote as the Great Beaver, Nabokov was indeed indicating a reference to the constellation Gemini, then the pail, "situla," turns out to indicate the constellation Aquarius. Situla is a star in the constellation Aquarius, but the name also is an alternate name, along with Ganymede, for the constellation and refers to the source from which Aquarius/Ganymede pours out the water/wine. It seems that in most cultures this constellation is associated with rains, floods, fountains.

One interesting astrological interpretation reads "The beauty of Ganymedes and his flight through the air link [Situla] to the ideas of personal charm and aviation with which [the constellation] is certainly connected." The beauty of Ganymede has other Pale Fire implications, and reflects on "Hebe's Cup."

Ursa Major has some Pale Fire links:
1) as indicating northernmost;
2) the mythical Atalanta was suckled by a she-bear;
2) the seven stars of the constellation are associated in some cultures with death, and may have something to do with the seven regalia-bearing courtiers that appear at the time of Queen Blenda's death
4) The Bear is associated with the chase (another Atalanta link).

Other constellations spotted in Pale Fire: Lyra, Krater, Cygnus, Virgo, Felis, Canis, Cancer, Monoceros.