NABOKV-L post 0023774, Fri, 15 Mar 2013 20:58:13 +0000

Re: QUERY: Pale Fire Line 992
The last horseshoe tossed, the one that went "clunk" in the previous line, and now leans against it stake as if against a lamppost. I like the loud "clunk"-"drunk" rhyme that links them.

Yes, "lampost" is Penguin's error.

Brian Boyd

On 16/03/2013, at 7:57 AM, Nabokv-L <nabokv-l@UTK.EDU<mailto:nabokv-l@UTK.EDU>> wrote:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Pale Fire Line 992
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2013 03:44:41 -0700
From: Barrie Akin <ba@TAXBAR.COM><mailto:ba@TAXBAR.COM>
CC: Barrie Akin <ba@TAXBAR.COM><mailto: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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