Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023426, Tue, 23 Oct 2012 13:00:13 -0200

Re: [THOUGHTS] Translation of Hazel's jottings: CK's
interference? Suggestion of "Pale Fire"?
Barrie Akin [to JM's "Shakespeare's verses about the "moon as an arrant thief," and the emergence of "Pale Fire" in "pal feur" or "tale feur"... wouldn't Aunt Maud's warnings be more intent on preserving the manuscript from the clutches of a "lunatic" Kinbote, than indicative of Shade's dangerous crossing of a lane? ] "I don't see any justification in either the poem or the commentary for the suggestion that Aunt Maud would be more interested in the preservation of the manuscript of the poem than the life of JS. Surely the fact that Aunt Maud raised JS from an early age gives the key reason for the attempted warning - Aunt Maud's artistic interests notwithstanding."

Jansy Mello: The idea came to me unexpectedly after I worried about Hazel's jottings with their emphasis on the word "arrant" and its Elizabethan association to the lines about moon and thieves, together with the suggestion of "pal feur/tale feur" (Pale Fire).
After I found Brian Boyd's reminder about Shade's discarded variant 'and home would haste my thieves/ The sun with stolen ice, the moon with leaves,' the moon's seemingly incongruous theft, at first merely a rhyme for "eaves, " led me to the stolen manuscript (consisting of leaves and lined cards).
Perhaps I valued words more than feelings when I pounced upon this conjecture. It seems to be justified by both poem and commentary. Deep down I confess that I harbour the idea that Kinbote's envious unconscious wishes were being expressed in them, and that he was responsible for embellishing the entire barn episode.

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