Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025119, Wed, 26 Feb 2014 08:46:34 -0300

RES: [NABOKV-L] Hazel & Haze, L. and Kinbote/Gradus

Matt Roth: In a forthcoming article, I talk about the Hazel-Haze, L. coincidence, but I was unable to track down who first wrote about it. Does anyone have an earlier reference than the Rosenbaum article?

Jansy Mello: In 1999 Ron Rosenbaum publicly vindicated his discovery, if neither Boyd nor anyone else claimed it (“.. one detail I can’t believe someone else hasn’t noticed, but one I’d be delighted to get credit for noticing first: The ghost within the name “Hazel,” the ghost of Lolita.”) He must have taken pride in it, too, because a “pale ghost” is the first thing that haunts our eyes in the title (and the link) to his article: http://observer.com/1999/04/nabokovs-pale-ghost-a-scholar-retracts/#ixzz2uBC21CAj

C. Kunin: “I was going to say that Kinbote was probably looking on, but it can't be ... he hasn't made the trip to America yet, so I guess at this point neither is aware of the other. Right?”

Jansy Mello: We know that Shade started to write “Pale Fire” in the Summer under Kinbote’s dedicated eavesdropping and this is why I don’t get you when you write that “at this point neither is aware of the other.”

I surmise that Shade was then too absorbed in his poetic elaborations to worry about his persistent neighbor during the process of finding himself in a “crystal land” (he wasn’t having one of his fits, either, another instance of his splitting). You must be meaning Gradus, not Kinbote himself (note to lines 1-4): “The poem was begun at the dead center of the year, a few minutes after midnight July 1, while I played chess with a young Iranian enrolled in our summer school; and I do not doubt that our poet would have understood his annotator’s temptation to synchronize a certain fateful fact, the departure from Zembla of the would-be regicide Gradus, with that date. Actually, Gradus left Onhava on the Copenhagen plane on July 5.”

Of course! Nice “incorporation”…

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