Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023455, Tue, 13 Nov 2012 22:19:21 -0500

Coriolanus in PF
Vitaly writes:

My question below was met with silence -- here's the bits I have:

"Timon" is the only Shakespeare's play without family ties, romantic
affections, or women of any consequence.
This, along with Timon's misanthropy, must make "Timon" a Botkin's favorite.

"Coriolanus" was a favorite of T.S. Eliot who wrote a poem "Coriolan", and
whom Hazel read. It also serves as a bawdy rhyme in "Brush Up Your
Shakespeare" ("Kiss Me Kate", 1948).
Where the leading lady's name is Lilli Vanessi.

The main character in "Coriolanus" has a 12-line monologue of heroic
couplets when he's ill-at-ease having to beg plebes for their votes, and
this form is presumably considered below the classy unrhymed pentameter but
not quite down to the plebeiean prose.

So to tie it together within the Hazel Hypothesis would go something like

As Botkin's psychogenic fugue is going strong, Hazel's spirit nudges him
with various turns and details of the tale. As this collaboration produces
an important tunnel to a theater, Botkin's favorite Shakespearian play,
which he knows well in Russian and some Scandinavian, comes to be Kinbote's
talisman, with Timon Alley over the tunnel thrown in.

Hazel, with her contribution, adds a "Coriolanus Lane", with name fresh to
her from T.S. Eliot and Cole Porter (and with another Vanessa vibe).

Shade, after hearing Botkin's tale, steals Timon's words on reflections for
the title of a new poem on reflections in love and death.

Shade also, when hearing of Coriolanus, recalls the play's demeaning
attitude to rhymed couplets and decides to give this poetic form another
life. Lest "the dust on antique time would lie unswept".

on Oct 30 I wrote:
Coriolanus Lane is next to Timon Alley over the passage to Iris Acht's
dressing room.
Timon of Athens figures prominently in the poem and the commentary. Where
is Coriolanus?

Assuming Boyd's Hazel Hypothesis, what did Hazel's spirit try to convey
(to her father, presumably)
with this reference? From Timon we have imagery of reflected light, pale
fire. From Coriolanus I have nothing.

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