We find, in LL ( on James Joyce): Stephen Dedalus, whose surname is that of the mythical maker of the labyrinth at Knossos, the royal city of ancient Crete; other fabulous gadgets; wings for himself and Icarus, his son – Stephen Dedalus, aged twenty-two…” (p.286) “ I must especially warn against seeing in Leopold Bloom’s humdrum wanderings and minor adventures on a summer day in Dublin a close parody of the Odyssey, with the adman Bloom acting the part of Odysseus, otherwise Ulysses, man of many devices and… There’s nothing more tedious than a protracted and sustained allegory based on a well-worn myth…”(288)

And then, in ADA, I, ch 13: The pleasure of suddenly discovering the right knack of topsy turvy locomotion was rather like learning to man, after many a painful and ignominious fall, those delightful gliders called Magicarpets (or ‘jikkers’) that were given a boy on his twelfth birthday in the adventurous days before the Great Reaction — and then what a breathtaking long neural caress when one became airborne for the first time and managed to skim over a haystack, a tree, a burn, a barn, while Grandfather Dedalus Veen, running with upturned face, flourished a flag and fell into the horsepond.

Now I wonder if V. Nabokov chose to reference Dedalus in ADA (we mustn’t forget his appearance in Pale Fire, too), as a parody of authors who favor allegories based on mythological creations, as a reference to those who see in Joyce’s Ulysses a parody of the Odyssey, as simply indicating James Joyce once again in Ada, or as referring to himself, in P.F ,with a parody inside another parody! *  


C.K on J.Shade’s line 810: a web of sense: Here is a passage that curiously echoes Shade’s tone at the end of Canto Three. It comes from a manuscript fragment written by Lane on May 17, 1921, on the eve of his death, after a major operation: "And if I had passed into that other land, whom would I have sought? ...Aristotle! — Ah, there would be a man to talk with! What satisfaction to see him take, like reins from between his fingers, the long ribbon of man’s life and trace it through the mystifying maze of all the wonderful adventure.... The crooked made straight. The Daedalian plan simplified by a look from above — smeared out as it were by the splotch of some master thumb that made the whole involuted, boggling thing one beautiful straight line."

NB: The Daedalian labyrinth in the convolutions of the thumbprints is implicit in here.
VN apparently accepted PF’s translator’s choice for the French, from “link and bobolink” to a “lien daedalien” (here quoting from memory, no checking into the French) However, the project of undoing the meanders of a labyrinth to obtain clarity was not John Shade’s, of course!, but Lane’s. The author, here, is mocking C.Kinbote…

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