Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025028, Mon, 27 Jan 2014 15:27:29 -0200

Re: sharks, islands & Robinsons in Ada
A. Sklyarenko: "...she [Aqua] saw giant flying sharks with lateral eyes taking barely one night to carry pilgrims through black ether across an entire continent from dark to shining sea, before booming back to Seattle or Wark. (1.3)"
Jansy Mello: The complete set of lines of the patriotic song "America, the Beautiful" not only carries "from sea to shining sea" (which I always connected to VN's "dark to shining sea") but also a reference to "pilgrim feet... a thoroughfare of freedom beat [ ] "From sea to shining sea", originally used in the charters of some of the English Colonies in North America, is an American idiom meaning from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean (or vice versa)....A term similar to this is the Canadian motto A Mari Usque Ad Mare ("From sea to sea.")]... [ * I checked BB's Ada Online but found no reference to this song. 21.17: through black ether: a concept of nineteenth-century physics in the midst of these visions of twentieth-century technology. 21.18-19: back to Seattle or Wark: Seattle, Washington, and not Wark, a village in Northumberland on the Scottish border, but a version of Newark, New Jersey--the western and eastern coasts of the United States, therefore--with a bizarre echo of "back to . . . work." The "New" of the real Newark is eliminated here, as if to compensate for Ada's adding a "New Cheshire" to the United States or matching the suppression of the name of New York for "Manhattan."

PS: I failed to find a reference to America, the Beautiful in BB's annotations because it appears a few lines later, referring to the "stars and stripes" and based on the original lyrics (in my opinion, this second reference confirms the first one,i.e, the version I was more familiar with)*
B.Boyd Ada Online
3.21: a halcyon climate under our Stars and Stripes: Combines l. 33, “O beautiful for halcyon skies,” of “America the Beautiful,” the unofficial second national anthem of the USA (alluded to in detail at 21.12-18: see 21.12-18n.) and the description of the US flag as the “stars and stripes,” as in line 3, “Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,” of the official US national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” words by Francis Scott Key (1779-1843), in his poem “The Defense of Fort M’Henry” (1813). “Halcyon climate” contrasts with Estotiland's reputation for extreme cold (cf. Milton at 3.18n.) “The Stars and Stripes” is the popular name for the flag of the United States of America, adopted in its first form in 1777 (Act of June 14, 1777), with the stars in a circle within the blue corner rectangle, and in its modern form, with the stars for each current state in a rectangular grid, in 1818 (Act of April 4, 1818).


* " Lynn Sherr, the ABC News correspondent, has written a timely and deliciously researched book about how that verse was written and edited and how it was fitted to a hymn called ''Materna,'' written about the same time by Samuel Augustus Ward, whom the poet never met. In ''America the Beautiful: The Stirring True Story Behind Our Nation's Favorite Song'' (Public Affairs, $25), Sherr reveals the rewriting by Bates that shows the value of working over a lyric. ''O beautiful for halcyon skies,'' the poem began. Halcyon is a beautiful word, based on the Greek name for the bird, probably a kingfisher, that ancient legend had nesting in the sea during the winter solstice and calming the waves. It means ''calm, peaceful'' and all those happy things, but the word is unfamiliar and does not evoke the West. Spacious, however, not only describes Big Sky country but also alliterates with skies, so she changed it. [ ] The line that needed editing the most was the flat and dispiriting conclusion: ''God shed his grace on thee/Till nobler men keep once again/Thy whiter jubilee!'' That cast an aspersion on the current generation, including whoever was singing the lyric. The wish for ''nobler men'' to come in the future ended the song, about to be set to Ward's hymn, on a self-deprecating note. In 1904, 10 years after her first draft, Katharine Lee Bates revised the imperfect last lines of the final stanza. The new image called up at the end not only reminds the singers of the ''spacious skies'' that began the song but also elevates the final theme to one of unity and tolerance. Her improvement makes all the difference, especially in times like these:America! America! God shed his grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea! Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company /October 21, 2001, Sunday Late Edition http://www.racematters.org/williamsafireobeautiful.htm

"O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee! [...]"

wikipedia: "America the Beautiful" is an American patriotic song. The lyrics were written by Katherine Lee Bates, and the music was composed by church organist and choirmaster Samuel A. Ward. Bates originally wrote the words as a poem, Pikes Peak, first published in the Fourth of July edition of the church periodical The Congregationalist in 1895. At that time, the poem was titled America for publication.[ ]
Original poem (1893)
O beautiful for spacious skies,/ For amber waves of grain,/ For purple mountain majesties/Above the enameled plain!/America! America!/God shed His grace on thee,/Till souls wax fair as earth and air/And music-hearted sea!/O beautiful for pilgrim feet/Whose stern, impassioned stress/A thoroughfare for freedom beat/Across the wilderness!/America! America!/ God shed His grace on thee/Till paths be wrought through wilds of thought/By pilgrim foot and knee!
Lyrics 1904 version O beautiful for spacious skies,/ For amber waves of grain,/ For purple mountain majesties/ Above the fruited plain! /America! America!/ God shed His grace on thee,/ And crown thy good with brotherhood/ From sea to shining sea!/ O beautiful for pilgrim feet/ Whose stern impassioned stress...
Lyrics 1913 version O beautiful for spacious skies,/ For amber waves of grain,/ For purple mountain majesties/ Above the fruited plain!/ America! America!God shed his grace on thee /And crown thy good with brotherhood/From sea to shining sea!/ O beautiful for pilgrim feet/Whose stern impassioned stress...

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