Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025123, Wed, 26 Feb 2014 11:33:48 -0800

topology/fugal time; Kinbote/Gradus
Jansy - I guess I was remembering his ungainly first appearance in the poem, confusing the time of the poem and the time of the novel. Easy to do. Reminds me that although Jerry Friedman did work up a timeline, it was over-simplified from my point of view, though it might be useful here. Like the odd incomprehensible description of the topology of New Wye, the fugal nature of time in the novel would take some serious work to unravel, which has not yet been done. At least so far as I'm aware.

Not just the topology of the town, but the layout of the Shade house and the layout of the Onhava palace (same place, as you know I believe) have yet to be pinned down. I do think that there is enough information in the novel to allow some one with good spatial aptitude to figure this out (not me who am hopeless at this sort of thing).

Gradus - well, I don't really take him into account, being as he is the shade of Shade's shade. Do we have a date for Charles's own escape from Zembla? or a date for the coup (or stroke)? So complicated, so interesting. Not sure I understand "Nice incorporation."


From: Jansy Mello <jansy.nabokv-L@AETERN.US>
Sent: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 3:46 AM
Subject: [NABOKV-L] 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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