CK to CHW: I've always
pictured a glass roof with the little bird flying against the slope and the poet
looking up. Doesn't make any sense of course now that I think about it, unless
Shade actually lived in a glass house.
JM: A glass house! Isn' t
this already a metaphor for Kinbote's ever present eavesdroppings? (oops,
not a stillicidal word when set close to a bird, is it?) Shade found himself in
a papered cage, though.
I suggest we include the glass house as part of our
collection of images ( do you also have a proverb in English about
"people who inhabit glass houses should never throw stones at
their neighbors" ? ), an extensive
In this case we now get a glimpse of the
waxwing's shadow as it may have been reflected onto a different window (
Kinbote's) from the one into which it crashed, but only if the scene had
not taken place in Shade's childhood when, instead of CK, it must have
been inhabited by the Goldsworth not yet alphabetical
Gloaming with a GPS
device, plus Stonehenge with Peter Pan? Where's the Hook?
But to think seriously, the only way the poet could be in
the shadow of the bird, the sun would either have to be "at 9 o'clock" or "at 3
o'clock" and the bird, window and poet on the sun side of the house in a fairly
exact alignment. The house was old, so the window must have been of modest size,
not one of those modern plate glass affairs. Possibly it could only happen on
one day of the year (like Stonehenge) either mid-winter or mid-summer - - St
John's eve is it? depending on how the house itself is
Interesting query. Of course the whole image could simply be a
metaphor. If Sylvia and Sybil are birds, presumably their mate(s) would also be
avian. Another indication perhaps that Shade is not shot, but lives on, flies on
as the Kinbote-bird (anyone for Peter Pan)?
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