----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, October 07, 2002 10:49 AM
Subject: Swans and Beavers in Pale Fire
An excellent book called "Twins and the Double" by John Lash, put
me on the following train of thought:
cygnet > swan > Leda >
dioscuri (beau tenebreux and bel tenebras perhaps)
Kinbote =The Great
Beaver = Castor (mortal)
his twin = Much Sweet Wine = Polydeuces
Who is Castor's twin? Botkin? Nothing immortal about Botkin.
Shade? I think so.
There are several references to brothers in Pale Fire.
There are the half-brothers, sons of Sylvia. And there's a lame boy
and his asthmatic or epileptic brother that appear once or twice.
dioscuri really mean two obscures?
R. No, that would be a Latin
mistranslation of the Greek dios kouroi, sons of Zeus, although one is
actually the son of Tyndareus, and hence mortal (Castor). After his death,
Polydeuces is put in the heavens as an immortal - Castor is included, but the
twins must then alternate their days on Olympus and in Hades. They are also said
to reflect the two hemispheres of the sky, which is interesting in light of all
the brain imagery in Pale Fire.
Q, What imagery?
those brain-like nut halves, and hemispheres; walnut lined cells in the
Q. Are Shade and Kinbote twins?
R. No, Kinbote is more
closely related to the mother, Caroline Lukin from whom his name is derived.
Despite what Kinbote says of her family, the surname is Russian and he probably
learned the language from her. Shade may have suppressed this
Q. Why would he do that?
A. I'm not sure. I have been
intrigued that although we know when Samuel Shade died, we don't know when his
Q. Why would that be important?
A. Because if she died when
her son was 7 ...
Q. You don't mean ...
R. Well, parricide doesn't
specify which parent.
Q. That's a dark thought.
A. Yes, it