Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023356, Wed, 3 Oct 2012 22:55:51 +0000


Hang on a moment!

The Shade residence was not on campus but some miles away. Is it so odd that an old New England house not on campus should have three bedrooms plus two studies? Or perhaps five bedrooms?

The "triptych" is JS's and SS's studies plus Hazel's bedroom (see Canto ll), so there must also be Aunt Maud's untouched bedroom and the Shades' bedroom. Five rooms in all.

Or am I missing something?

-------- Original message --------
From: Jansy <jansy@AETERN.US>

Barrie Akin: "I’m sorry to be flippant about this, but it does seem odd that the ghost of Aunt Maud (who lived long enough, we know, to see Hazel born) should be so solicitous for the life of a sixty-one year old, but not for the life of his daughter - a vulnerable young woman in her early twenties...But that does rather cast Aunt Maud in a rather poor light – being prepared to permit the sacrifice of Hazel’s life in order to try to protect John’s.And in any event, it doesn’t answer the question as to whether Maud could ever affect a future event that she can foresee."

Jansy Mello: B.Akin doesn't wonder why, if John Shade's calculations had Aunt Maud's span of life allow her to "hear the next babe cry" and that this child should be Hazel, whom Maud watched grow into a very troubled young woman. The house of the Shade's had to be rather spacious to accomodate it and the triptych (a room for the parents, Hazel's and Shade's study), because her room was kept intact for some reason. It might have been one of those ancient houses in New England, with servants's quarters, too ( but in a College campus?). Kinbote had a partial vision of it from the outside (from what I recollect, he had access to Shade's study on the second floor and glimpses into a living room and a hall with a telephone). Would Nabokov have modeled the poet's house following the architecture of a real one? I always felt the urge (but lacked the spacial talent) to build a maquette that recreates some of the houses and gardens being mentioned in Pale Fire...
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