Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023772, Fri, 15 Mar 2013 12:10:19 -0700

Re: QUERY: Pale Fire Line 992
I always took it to mean the horseshoe from the game of horseshoes Shade
describes hearing. The point of the game is to get the horseshoe around a
post in the ground, but points are also given if it touches the post, so
leaning against it would make sense in that context.

- Michael Lavey

On Friday, March 15, 2013, Nabokv-L wrote:

> -------- Original Message -------- Subject: Pale Fire Line 992 Date: Fri,
> 15 Mar 2013 03:44:41 -0700 From: Barrie Akin <ba@TAXBAR.COM><javascript:_e({}, 'cvml', 'ba@TAXBAR.COM');> To:
> <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU> <javascript:_e({}, 'cvml',
> 'NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU');> CC: Barrie Akin <ba@TAXBAR.COM><javascript:_e({}, 'cvml', 'ba@TAXBAR.COM');>
> Can anyone shed some light on this line for me? "(Leaning against its
> lampost like a drunk.)" Apart from the fact that my Penguin Modern Classics
> edition of PF uses the above spelling - "lampost" - which I take to be a
> typographical error for "lamppost", the oddity of this line for me is that
> I can't see the referent for "its". The full stop at the end of the line
> seems to rule out the dark vanessa of the next line - and anyway it would
> make no sense in the context if "its" referred to a butterfly in flight.
> And I can't see anything in the preceeding lines that could be doing the
> drunken leaning. This has irritated me for a long time - a seemingly
> superfluous line in the middle of (for me at least) some sublime verse. Can
> somebody put me out of my misery here - what am I missing?
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