S K-B: By one of those exciting
coincidences, I’ve just iPodded from audible.com P G Wodehouse’s “Pearls, Girls,
and Monty Bodkin.” I hope this doesn’t trigger spurious Pale Fire speculation!
“Remains of the day” is indeed an evocative phrase
familiar to Anglophones[...] The author’s nightmare of “remaindered” books, cast
off like “remnants” of little value. "Remnants” has slightly different
resonances from “remains” [...] VN’s “only picturesque ruins
remained of the day” is wonderfully ambiguous [...] I also hear the
Biblical warning: “Sufficient unto each day is the evil thereof.” That is,
clean the slate before bedtime.
JM: I was trying to find another
example of "remains (or remnants) of the day" in VN,which a
contributor sent in soon after this posting - to no avail. I vaguely
recall it came from Transparent Things, but I only found the word with no
signs of gloamings, Jeeves nor delicious coincidences. And yet
thye term preserves the ambiguous distinction bt. "the remains of the
deceased" and veryn lively "literary remains": "Every cent and centime I possess as well as all literary remains
[...] must go to her, whatever the ambiguous obscurities contained in my
will." Actually, in retrospect, I see that there are often references
to "literary remains" in VN in one way or another ( Kinbote and Pale
Beautiful lines by Khayyam [“Dreaming when dawn’s left hand was in the sky
... “], which I think have already appeared in the List qua "left hand".
(btw "The evil thereof? Not "worries" or "cares" in relation to
enjoying lilies in the