Barrie Akin [to Jansy's the odd thing is Shade mentioning that Maud "lived to see the next babe cry" and a certain consensus on that he must have meant Hazel (who was sixteen when Maud died)..Charles Kinbote informs that she was "Samuel Shade's sister. At her death, Hazel (born 1934) was not exactly a "babe" as implied in line 90."The reader has only access to the (not always reliable) Kinbote's informations.Apparently the idea that Hazel is the implied babe stems from him.] On the "next babe cry" point, I do not really see a difficulty. The line does not say when Maud died, merely that she was alive when Hazel was born (who else could the 'next babe' be?) I just don't see it as conflicting in any way what Kinbote says.
Jansy Mello: I still believe that it's Kinbote who is inducing the reader to believe that the "next babe" was Hazel for, as you inquire, who else could it be? That's my point, exactly. Who can this babe be? A sentence stating that Maud lived to see "it" cry, when we learn that Maud Shade continued to live for at least sixteen more years is, in my eyes, very odd! 
Pale Fire has its mysteries.  If my calculations are not too incorrect, John Shade and Sybil Irondell were married rather young, aged 20. Did Sybil replace the Canadian maid and her niece in taking care of the house together with Maud? 
Sybil "came of Canadian stock, as did Shade's maternal grandmother (a first cousin of Sybil's grandfather, if I'm not greatly mistaken) and wasn't Maud's blood-relation, for she was John's father's sister."
Laurence Hochard finds it "odd too that the 2 ghosts (Hazel's and john's) should go to so much trouble to help and humour Kinbote but make not the least effort to comfort Sybil who has lost not only a husband but also her husband's last poem, in the creation of which she took such an interest! " Indeed. Nevertheless it's impossible to evaluate ghost "logic" and stories. Should we accept their existence we must also believe that John and Hazel enjoy a busy artistic afterlife. 
The next question then must be: why is Zembla so important to everyone concerned (i.e., to Nabokov?)
In a Book Review on "Pale Fire"   we read (excerpts):
"It is unclear that the land of Zembla does not, in fact, exist...The sheer preponderance of detail about Zembla that Kinbote lays on, including Zemblan language, history, and customs, makes us question if perhaps there isn't more truth than it might seem... Or perhaps Zembla is a pseudonym for another country? There is a clue in the reference to Zembla in Alexander Pope's ""An Essay On Man" , which Kinbote explicitly cites:
But where th' extreme of vice, was ne'er agreed:
Ask where's the North? at York, 'tis on the Tweed;
In Scotland, at the Orcades; and there,
At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where:
No creature owns it in the first degree,
But thinks his neighbour farther gone than he!
In the end, I think Nabokov is at play with the idea of "farther gone" in his rendering of Kinbote... a particularly potent idea for ... the literary enthusiast who wishes his own "truth" to be told through the artful (and I mean "artful" in both its meanings) form of poetry.
Mary McCarthy ...writes: "... there is actually a Nova Zembla, a group of islands in the Arctic Ocean, north of Archangel. The name is derived from the Russian Novaya Zemlya, which means 'new land.' Or terre neuve, Newfoundland, New World. Therefore Appalachia = Zembla." I'd argue that the alphabetical symmetry (A-Z) is further evidence that this is what Nabokov had in mind. And in a totally speculated aside, I wonder if Kinbote's endless reflections on the landscape and culture of this north country didn't at all parallel Nabokov's own daydreaming as he composed this book: not all that long before Pale Fire was published, Nabokov left America for Bern, Switzerland, where he lived until the end of his life in 1977."
If this is the case, all the friendly ghosts are intent on preserving VN's magic homage to America.

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All private editorial communications are read by both co-editors.