Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025146, Sun, 2 Mar 2014 14:35:07 -0300

RES: [NABOKV-L] RES: [NABOKV-L] RES: [NABOKV-L] topology/fugal
time; Kinbote/Gradus
C.Kunin: Yes, I did not mean tempus fugit, but neither did I mean the stories dropping off and picking up. There are some definite time markers in Pale Fire (birthdays come to mind and other specific dates) but aside from that time is hard to pin down…(From the archives)”we start to get into the Escher-like fugue pattern that the chronology of PF sets up. Did Kinbote escape from Zembla as Tiffany thinks (& mostly so do I) coincident with Shade's 1957 attack, or after Shade is "shot"? Both seem to be true.”

Jansy Mello: In the other posting I wrote that the Freud/Breuer quotes “are applicable to another kind of dissociative episodes (linked to hysteria), unlike Shade’s.” However, excepting the “multiple personality theory,” Shade’s strokes might have been of a hysterical nature as it’s been indicated.

Now I got your point about “fugal time,” from this “Escher-like pattern” which, in this case, is probably related to the atemporality of the unconscious (i.e: as for example, the time enjambement of events in a dream).

The other message that came out in the List had its introduction, concerning the Narnia-wiki information related to the Hamadryads, lost in transit. Therefore a compilation of references from the novels and movies related to C.S.Lewis’ Narnia was isolated from its context. I had also addressed it to you because of your special interest in confirming the existing associations between Shade, Kinbote and Gradus.

Here it is:

“Did you notice that, through the waxwing (Ampelis: both the bird, i.e, waxwing or sampel and the plant i.e, the vine), we reach the hazelnut, walnut and shagbark trees (Carya or Karya), interconnecting not only Shade, Kinbote and Gradus but also implicating Shade’s daughter, Hazel (Carya)?

I was reminded of the Hamadryads (such as these two sisters named Ampelis and Carya) in “Narnia” because, in the movie, there are incredibly beautiful images of them as trees that travel by swirling clusters of leaves to pass on messages to the heroes. Kinbote, in his “leavesdropping,” is often hindered by bushes and sprouting trees. I hadn’t connected tree spirits in PF to Greek mythology (through the Hamadryads), but there is certainly a druidic touch in “Pale Fire” associated to the Alder and the Erlkönig.

John Shade’s two entries about an empty swing hanging from a tree are rather uninspired (these images are easily found in popular novels and catastrophe movies). V. Nabokv must have had second plans when he used them… Would it be related to the swinging motion of fugal Gradus?

Cf. Line 57: “The phantom of my little daughter’s swing.”
CK’s note to line 61 “The empty little swing that swings/ Under the tree: these are the things/ That break my heart.”

CK’s note to line 17: “We shall accompany Gradus in constant thought…through the entire length of the poem…breathing with the caesura, swinging down to the foot of the page from line to line as from branch to branch, hiding between two words…”


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