1.Timelines in PF:
Pale Fire "was begun at
the dead center of the year, a few minutes after midnight July 1..." ( as
annotated by Charles Kinbote with the precise "was begun"), a few days before
John Shade s 61st BIRTHDAY and it ends abruptly seventeen days later with his
DEATH, on July 21.
Brian Boyd made references for
“summer birthdays and namedays” (SM 171/74) in the Nabokov family. He observed
that Ada’s birthday is the same date as Nabokov’s father’s, and the first
version of his autobiography records as its first scene the sunflecked greenery
of V.D. Nabokov’s thirty-third birthday, and Nabokov himself “jubilantly
celebrating, on that twenty-first of July, 1902, the birth of sentient
life” (CE 4). In SM Nabokov listened more carefully to memory’s
speech and reassigned the scene to his mother’s birthday in August, and to
1903.( B.Boyd, Adaonline). In “Ada” Van´s “birth of conscious life”
took place in July 13th.(?), while driving to meet Ada at the “Three
2a.Andrew Brown recently posted a
comment about spiritualism and the American Fox (Foxe?) sisters.
ADA, we find "the flame of her Little Larousse as he and the other said when
they chose to emprison her in bath water...Its four burning ends, Because one
can’t stroke (as he did now) the upper copper without imagining at once the
lower fox cub and the paired embers.
2c. p. 128-129 ( Pale
"[Odon] was a fox-browed, burly Irishman, with a pink head"
3. Samuel Johnson
3a. Although I forgot where I found a limmerick suggesting Samuel Johnson
wore a wig, I think it is interesting to wonder if John Shade's abundant hair (
sometimes compared to Samuel Johnson's) was his own ( I bet that he
wore no wig but, all the same...)
3b. I found a quote from a newspaper article written by Samuel Johnson on
modern advertising, where he specifically mentions "razor blade"
( 1758, The Idler) : "Promise, large promise, is the soul of an
advertisement. I remember a washball that had a quality truly wonderful -
it gave an exquisite edge to the razor. The trade of advertising is now
so near to perfection that it is not easy to propose any