Annotations by Alexey Sklyarenko

Description

Please read Alexey Sklyarenko's annotations on Pale FireAda and other Nabokov works here.

loud amusement park in Pale Fire Alexey Sklyarenko Mon, 08/15/2022 - 11:51

In his Foreword to Shade’s poem Kinbote (in VN’s novel Pale Fire, 1962, Shade’s mad commentator who imagines that he is Charles the Beloved, the last self-exiled king of Zembla) says that there is a very loud amusement park right in front of his lodgings:

 

two methods of composing, bat & crab in Pale Fire Alexey Sklyarenko Sun, 08/14/2022 - 06:50

At the beginning of Canto Four of his poem John Shade (the poet in VN’s novel Pale Fire, 1962) says that there are two methods of composing, A and B:

 

Now I shall spy on beauty as none has

Spied on it yet. Now I shall cry out as

None has cried out. Now I shall try what none

Has tried. Now I shall do what none has done.

And speaking of this wonderful machine:

stiff vane & naïve, gauzy mockingbird in Pale Fire Alexey Sklyarenko Sat, 08/13/2022 - 11:20

In Canto One of his poem John Shade (the poet in VN’s novel Pale Fire, 1962) describes his house and mentions the stiff vane so often visited by the naïve, the gauzy mockingbird:

 

The house itself is much the same. One wing

We've had revamped. There's a solarium. There's

A picture window flanked with fancy chairs.

TV's huge paperclip now shines instead

Shade, Ombre, almost 'man' in Pale Fire Alexey Sklyarenko Fri, 08/12/2022 - 20:59

According to Kinbote (in VN’s novel Pale Fire, 1962, Shade’s mad commentator who imagines that he is Charles the Beloved, the last self-exiled king of Zembla), after line 274 of Shade’s poem there is a false start in the draft:

 

I like my name: Shade, Ombre, almost 'man'
In Spanish... (note to Line 275)

Tiger Turk & Van's lavender goat in Ada Alexey Sklyarenko Fri, 08/12/2022 - 09:13

After the dinner in ‘Ursus’ with their half-sister Lucette Van and Ada make love in Van’s Manhattan flat and Ada complains that Van hurt her ‘like a Tiger Turk:’

 

painted word & Ardelion Veen's ghost in Ada Alexey Sklyarenko Thu, 08/11/2022 - 14:16

Describing Kim Beauharnais’s album, Van Veen (the narrator and main character in VN’s novel Ada, 1969) mentions the painted word that would be retouched by the still richer brush of time:

 

Greg's sob of admiration, Cuba & Hecuba in Ada Alexey Sklyarenko Wed, 08/10/2022 - 10:22

When Ada recites her revised monologue of Shakespeare’s King Lear, Greg Erminin exclaims ‘Oh, that’s good:’

 

‘Et pourtant,’ said the sound-sensitive governess, wincing, ‘I read to her twice Ségur’s adaptation in fable form of Shakespeare’s play about the wicked usurer.’

‘She also knows my revised monologue of his mad king,’ said Ada:

 

air, water, fire & poor grubs in Ada Alexey Sklyarenko Tue, 08/09/2022 - 20:10

In VN’s novel Ada (1969) the element that destroys Demon Veen (Van’s and Ada’s father who perishes in a mysterious airplane disaster above the Pacific) is air:

 

Numbers and rows and series — the nightmare and malediction harrowing pure thought and pure time — seemed bent on mechanizing his mind. Three elements, fire, water, and air, destroyed, in that sequence, Marina, Lucette, and Demon. Terra waited. (3.1)

 

Miss Cleft & Brownhill in Ada Alexey Sklyarenko Tue, 08/09/2022 - 13:57

According to Miss Cleft (the headmistress of Ada’s school for girls), a thorn is always close to a bud:

 

Paar of Chose & Zapater of Aardvark in Ada Alexey Sklyarenko Mon, 08/08/2022 - 05:41

Describing the difference between Terra and Antiterra (aka Demonia, Earth’s twin planet on which Ada is set), Van Veen (the narrator and main character in VN’s novel Ada, 1969) mentions the deepest thinkers, the purest philosophers, Paar of Chose and Zapater of Aardvark: