NABOKV-L post 0024853, Sun, 1 Dec 2013 12:04:56 -0200

Visual complementation: Mont Blanc: mountain/fountain... and more.

John Shade: "I might/ Have made her tell me more about the white/ Fountain we both had seen "beyond the veil" [ ]
There's one misprint - not that it matters much:/ Mountain, not fountain. The majestic touch."//Life Everlasting - based on a misprint!"

Nevertheless, Charles Kinbote indicates other verses related to mountains, on line 782, specifically indicating the "Mont Blanc" : "An image of Mont Blanc's "blue-shaded buttresses and sun-creamed domes" is fleetingly glimpsed through the cloud of that particular poem which I wish I could quote but do not have at hand. The "white mountain" of the lady's dream, caused by a misprint to tally with Shade's "white fountain," makes a thematic appearance here, blurred as it were by the lady's grotesque pronunciation."

Mont Blanc or Monte Bianco, both meaning "White Mountain", is the highest mountain in the Alps and the European Union.It is also sometimes known as La Dame blanche (French for "the White Lady") or Il Bianco (Italian for "the White One"). Montblanc International GmbH is a German firm, in Hamburg, from the Richemont conglomerate. The name "Mont Blanc" appeared in 1909 in association to a particularly luxurious item: a fountain pen. In 1967 the firm widened the range of its products in association to Alfred Dunnhill.

(see appended images from the Mont Blanc mountain and of the fountain pen)

Charles Kinbote reproduces a mountain-variant: "Between the mountain and the eye/The spirit of the distance draws/ A veil of blue amorous gauze/ The very texture of the sky./A breeze reaches the pines, and I/ Join in the general applause...."

For the first time today the verses "join in the general applause" reminded me of another poet's (or so I thought) famous lines. While I googled after them, I came to two interesting quotes, by Samuel Johnson (and a majestic touch!) and Soren Kirkegaard.

I'm inclined to think that, if VN was signalling to someone else, he must have had S.J in mind. However, I couldn't resist the temptation to include SK's.

(1) "The lives of the English poets: and a criticism of their works" (1781) by Samuel Johnson: " But in the most general applause discordant voices will always be heard. It has been objected by some, who wish to be numbered among the sons of learning, that Pope's version of Homer is not Homerical; that it exhibits no resemblance of the original and characteristick manner of the Father of Poetry, as it wants his awful simplicity, his artless grandeur, his unaffected majesty."
(2) "A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it's a joke."
Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or, Part I

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