NABOKV-L post 0025597, Sat, 9 Aug 2014 22:35:21 -0300


Charles Kinbote writes, in the Foreword: " The short (166 lines) Canto One,
with all those amusing birds and parhelia, occupies thirteen cards. Canto
Two, your favorite, and that shocking tour de force, Canto Three, are
identical in length (334 lines) and cover twenty-seven cards each. Canto
Four reverts to One in length and occupies again thirteen cards..."

Jophn Shade writes in Pale Fire (Canto One):

"My picture book was at an
early age
The painted parchment
papering our cage:
Mauve rings around the
moon; blood-orange sun;
Twinned Iris; and that
rare phenomenon
The iridule - when,
beautiful and strange,
110 In a bright sky above a
mountain range
One opal cloudlet in an
oval form
Reflects the rainbow of a
Which in a distant valley
has been staged -
For we are most
artistically caged."

I don't know what kind of events related to rainbows and sun, in Shade's
poem, correspond to what Charles Kinbote has compared or summarized under
"parhelia." I got so busy trying to understand the physical aspect of it
that, because my memory included it in Shade's poem as a generic feeling, I
didn't notice that I had no clue about its presence in the poem. Today,
looking in my photo-archives I came to a collection of pictures my
grand-daughter Juliana took of what, as I understand it, is a "parhelium." (
I hope the singular is correct). The pale fire of the moon cannot be
compared to it, can it?

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