Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023759, Wed, 13 Mar 2013 10:29:33 -0700

Re: Percy de Prey
Not sure to what Jansy refers - but could it be St Elmo's fire? Do not recall
who St Elmo was but the fire referred to is an electrical phenomenon at sea.
Like lightning, St Elmo's fire is attracted to ship's masts and takes the form
of dancing lights playing about the ship's masts. It is referred to in
Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner. If it is to be found in a Wagnerian
opera, my guess would be Der Fliegender Hollander (der Hollander I have just
learned refers not to the captain, but to the ship itself). The opera is
currently in production in Los Angeles and I will be attending the dress
rehearsal next week along with other members of my synagogue - $10, such a


From: Jansy Mello <jansy@AETERN.US>
Sent: Wed, March 13, 2013 9:21:08 AM
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] Percy de Prey

C. Kunin: I'm sure it has been noted before, but Alexey's reference to the
"same group of townsmen" as referring to the 12 apostles reminds me that the
opening of Ada makes several references to specifically Christian (New
Testament) places and people. I've never heard anyone discuss this - or, as is
quite possible, perhaps I issed it. [But Alexey, isn't the sacrifice more
likely the Christ than the Judas?]

Jansy Mello: Without returning to the text to check it (I’m away from my
library and PC), I’ll add one observation about the initial chapters of ADA,
based on an image that I can still recall. It is associated to Christian
themes. I’m sure Carolyn will enjoy that instigation since it seems to indicate
not only an old medieval legend, but also Wagner’s opera “Tannhauser.” It’s
related to a penitential blossoming elm (some wordplay dealing with about Saint
Elm? )
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