Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024927, Tue, 24 Dec 2013 03:03:34 -0200

Re: Timur & Nabok in Ada
Alexey Sklyarenko:"But Greg had to be asked to come after all: on the previous day he had called on her bringing a 'talisman' from his very sick father, who wanted Ada to treasure as much as his grandam had a little camel of yellow ivory carved in Kiev, five centuries ago, in the days of Timur and Nabok. (1.39) Max Voloshin (1877-1932) was born in Kiev. In Chetvert' veka ("A Quarter of the Century. 1900-1925"), a poem written in Koktebel in December, 1927, in the days of the Crimean earthquake, Voloshin mentions Tamerlane ("Timur") and Kakangelie (a play on kakos, "bad," and Evangelie, "the Gospels, good tidings") of Marx [ ] In Pustynya ("The Desert," 1901) Voloshin (who as a young man was exiled to Turkestan) mentions verblyud (a camel) and "the colored tiles of Tamerlane's palaces and temples:[ ]Tamerlane and Kiev occur in Pasternak's Vtoroe rozhdenie ("The Second Birth," 1931). In the book's opening poem, Volny ("The Waves"), Pasternak mentions the proverbial camel going through a needle's eye.

Jansy Mello: In AS's other posting he clarifies that "certicle" is an anagram of "electric" (L-disaster). Here he brings up ADA's lines with camels and Tamerlane.
In Pale Fire, long before the L-Disaster appears, there's embalming amber, lightning, camels and Shade's poem about "Electricity." These "themes" must have a private significance to Nabokov that is hard to discern.

CK line 347 and "The Haunted Barn"

"Two minutes pass. Life is hopeless, afterlife heartless. Hazel is heard quietly weeping in the dark. John Shade lights a lantern. Sybil lights a cigarette. Meeting adjourned.

The light never came back but it gleams again in a short poem "The Nature of Electricity," which John Shade had sent to the New York magazine The Beau and the Butterfly, some time in 1958, but which appeared only after his death: The dead, the gentle dead — who knows? —

In tungsten filaments abide,


And when above the livid plain

Forked lightning plays, therein may dwell

The torments of a Tamerlane,

The roar of tyrants torn in hell.

Science tells us, by the way, that the Earth would not merely fall apart, but vanish like a ghost, if Electricity were suddenly removed from the world.

CK line 80: "Her fragile ankles, he said, which she placed very close together in her dainty and wavy walk, were the "careful jewels" in Arnor’s poem about a miragarl ("mirage girl"), for which "a dream king in the sandy wastes of time would give three hundred camels and three fountains." Who is Arnor?

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