Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024944, Mon, 30 Dec 2013 16:18:33 +0000

Re: Iris,Hazel, Emperors and butterflies: Brian Boyd
I was brought up in the earthy Scouse-Irish tradition:
³Hazel? HAZEL? Dere¹s hundreds of focken Saints in de focken calendar, an¹
yer go an¹ call Œer after a focken NUT!²
Stan Kelly-Bootle

On 19/12/2013 22:57, "Jansy Mello" <jansy.nabokv-L@aetern.us> wrote:

> Food for thought:
> "...her name at the beginning of the note hints at the solution to the scene's
> insistent implicit riddle [ ] "Hazel" is rare as a color word in being so
> preponderantly applied to a single object, the human eye [ ], or, to be more
> anatomically precise, the colored part of the eye, the iris. And iris is also
> the species name of the butterfly popularly called the Purple Emperor, whose
> upper fore-and-hind-wings are richly covered in a highly conspicuous purple,
> as Charles II now finds himself a conspicuously red king. Hazel, in her role
> as butterfly, as Red Admirable...seems to stand behind the Iris who offers
> Kinbote his escape as red king or Purple Emperor."
> Nabokov's "Pale Fire": The Magic of Artistic Discovery. Brian Boyd,p.160
> (two notes, copying only n.18 from Ch.10: "In a note in his Eugene Onegin
> commentary, Nabokov comments on the different senses of 'purple' in different
> European languages: the English violet versus the crimsonish red the word
> evokes in French and Russian (Eugene Onegin 2:250-21)."
> Jansy Mello: So, Hazel and Iris are related by butterflies in PF (the Purple
> Emperor and the Red Admirable).Kinbote's wanderings are not suggestive of any
> entomological migratory patterns, as I mistakenly surmised would have been the
> case of Pedro (Ada) and an Emperor butterfly ( the Morpho menelaus
> tenuilimbata or the Agathina Emperor Doxocopa agathina). They are closer to
> the mythological "Psyché-Soul"...
> Is it right to consider the Purple Emperor's underside, or the female Purple
> Emperor's color as being "hazel brown", like VN's eyes according to one of his
> passport informations? A butterfly's iridescent wing scales may vary in color,
> like the iris of the eye and flowering irises but, except for the Vanessa
> atalanta, there are no reds in sight - and we know that the red or the orange
> bend are crucial in "Pale Fire." (cf. the tie Gradus wears on the day he
> confronts Kinbote and Shade crossing the street together...)*
> btw: purple is also associated to royalty and to the Roman Church; the color
> of the robe that Jesus might have worn is sometimes described as purple,
> sometimes as scarlet. There's been a lot of discussion about Homer's "purple"
> sea, as found in our VN-L archives and referred articles.
> ..............................................................................
> ..................................................................
> * - "The male butterfly is one of the most beautiful of all of the
> butterflies found in the British Isles. From certain angles it appears to have
> black wings intersected with white bands. However, when the wings are at a
> certain angle to the sun, the most beautiful purple sheen is displayed, a
> result of light being refracted from the structures of the wing scales. The
> female, on the other hand, is a deep brown and does not possess the purple
> sheen found in the male."
> http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species.php?vernacular_name=Purple%20Emperor
> <http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species.php?vernacular_name=Purple%20Emperor>
> ]
> wikipedia: "Iris is a genus of 260–300 species of flowering plants with showy
> flowers. It takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, referring to the
> wide variety of flower colors found among the many species..."
> (images of English flower and Apatura iris butterflies come from various
> sources, not only wikipedia)

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