Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024573, Wed, 11 Sep 2013 14:08:25 -0300

Spectacular spectacles
Carolyn Kunin (off list): "Your note about Pale Fire animals and constellations reminds me that I saw the spectacular statue of Queen Victoria that faces Buckingham Palace a few days ago and was actually disappointed not to see a unicorn's horn anywhere near her skirts or anywhere nearby, but of course as one of the two iconic, better heraldic, royal British animals I guess it resides there in spirit. Nabokov does rather get under one's skin, doesn't he, and we begin to see the world through Nabokovian spectacles - a bit like the Wizard of Oz and his green-spectacle induced Emerald City. Oh, no - nothing to do with Gerald Emerald!"

Jansy Mello: The Wizard of Oz and the "green-spectacle" you associated to our "Nabokovian spectacles" carried me over to a scene in ADA, when Van Veen watches Lucette "ardis into the "amber." Queen Victoria's unicorn ( "her pet monoceros") is maliciously mentioned in Pale Fire and there it'd be almost invisible, too.
Not Gerald Emerald, nor anything related to "Esmeralda and her parandrus," sure (but I retain in my memory the volupty of the sound "Esmeralda" from a reading by Nabokov).

ADA: "He put on his tinted glasses and watched her stand on the diving board, her ribs framing the hollow of her intake as she prepared to ardis into the amber. He wondered, in a mental footnote that might come handy some day, if sunglasses or any other varieties of vision, which certainly twist our concept of 'space,' do not also influence our style of speech."

PF: "Not many Englishmen walked there, anyway, though I noticed quite a few just east of Mentone, on the quay where in honor of Queen Victoria a bulky monument, with difficulty embraced by the breeze, had been erected, but not yet unshrouded, to replace the one the Germans had taken away. Rather pathetically, the eager horn of her pet monoceros protruded through the shroud."

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