Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023779, Sat, 16 Mar 2013 19:32:12 -0400

Re: QUERY: Pale Fire Line 992
I was reviewing the last part of the poem for a colleague who's translating it and I noticed the line 992. However, we have to take it from line 991, which it rhymes with:

Somewhere horseshoes are being tossed. Click. Clunk.
(Leaning against its lamppost like a drunk)

I interpreted it as the description of a "horseshoe game" where horseshoes (and nowadays metal rings) are thrown against a stake (not called a "post" I'm afraid but close). Sometimes a horseshoe that goes on the stake would basically not completely sit at the bottom and would stand at an angle, like a drunk against a lamppost.

I might be pushing it a lot, but it makes sense to me.

Levent Mollamustafaoglu, Ph.D.

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