NABOKV-L post 0022216, Sat, 3 Dec 2011 04:05:58 -0200

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Re: Prisons, Cages and Neon-bars
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Gary Lipon to JM's "The... words "bar/neon-bar" are 'unpoetically' placed close together": I read them as ten lines apart!? [... ]I have been writing a little essay on a new interpretation of Pale Fire...In this interpretation Hazel is destined to die young in order to provide a theme,(motivation?) for Shade's Magnus Opus, Pale Fire.Through composing this work Shade believes he has, or will become, immortal//".other men die; but I / Am not another; therefore I’ll not die" ...Even though the mind searches for an ironic interpretation of this line, I have never been able to find one. It's notable that it is logically incorrect...

Jansy Mello: Gary Lipon is correct when he notes that the words "bar/neon-bar" are ten lines apart. (Cf. 387-388: "new car/Hawaiian bar" and 397-398: "the azure entrance ..."/"Puddles were neon-barred..."). The common "car-bar" must have impressed me enough to get the pattern carried over to the bar's entrance with its neon-barred puddles.
Actually, I'd been fighting off the temptation to link cages and HH's jail bars in Lolita to the Carmen-barmen ditty derived from a song hit describing a crime, that was ingeniously and playfully elaborated in the novel.* ( but the metal-gun kills Carmen and not her lover)

In the Nab-L interpretations for the irony in Shade's lines ( "other men die, but I/Am not another...") has been brought up in the past in connection to Marcel Duchamp's epitaph: "D'ailleurs, c'est toujours les autres qui meurent" ("Besides, it's always other people who die.") and other suggestions.


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* - HH writes about "a foolish song that was then popular — O my Carmen, my little Carmen, something, something, those something nights, and the stars, and the cars, and the bars, and the barmen" which ends up woven into HH's verses:
"Who is your hero, Dolores Haze?
Still one of those blue-caped star-men?
Oh the balmy days and the palmy bays,
And the cars, and the bars, my Carmen!"

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