SKB: I agree that such
allusions/sightings add to our sheer reading pleasure. What I find boring about
much of my non-Nabokov-fiction reading is the absence of “lexical challenge.”
But I must say that “celadan eyes” are more intriguing than the almost
commonplace idiom “light of my life.” The latter’s appeal derives from the
alliterative context of Lolita’s loins and labia[ls]. “Celadan” will certainly
have me brushing up my somewhat stale Dryden, and re-reading RLSK for further
clues of relevance beyond the mere fact (coincidence?) of usage [...] the word
PALEARCTIC puzzles until I realize that the PALE, pronounced PALLY [sic], is
from the prefix PALEO- meaning ancient or Old-World. Do we have Friendly
Pale(o)-Fire with Promethean implications?
JM: If the
cat had been a pink panther (instead of blue!) and I, Inspector Clouseau,
my reasoning would lead me from Samuel Johnson's Hodge ( were he a
she) to reach John Dryden, through Johnson's critical essays. Where he also
mentions Dryden's play about Dom Sebastião, who disappeared in a battle against
the infidels and is expected to come back in the future like a
Messiah (mentioned in former L-postings already).
A cat that appears from nowhere is rather
interesting anyway. As was the link you made bt. "light of my life" and
Lolita's alliterative context (btw: why
"celadan"?). Also the suggestion about a promethean Paleo-Fire: right in
the Clouseau spirit!
For further feline epiphanic considerations, I
quote (RLSK): " - 'I
must confess,' said he as he stroked a soft blue cat with celadon eyes which had
appeared from nowhere and now made itself comfortable in his lap...[...]He put
down the cat and rummaged awhile among some papers in a drawer [...] I
don't know what's the matter with this cat, she does not seem to know milk all
of a sudden.'."