Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0020632, Sun, 29 Aug 2010 08:19:37 -0300

Re: RES: [NABOKV-L] Botkin
Chaz... what important things you know about that swing???? Please share.

I haven't yet found where I read about the growing tree and the high up swing in PF or in one of his authoritative commentators. Rather vaguely, I recollect Shade (himself?) mentioning the hickory as a young sapling when he was a young boy. The experience I had with mango-trees and their ample branches is totally dissimilar to those who are familiar with trees that grow in colder regions, but I was never a keen observer of nature and the swings usually had their strings broken or wooden benches spoiled before there was time for them to "go up"...

Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] RES: [NABOKV-L] Botkin

I am always astounded by the number of people who think that as a tree grows, its branches go upwards instead of remaining where they started. Anybody who has climbed the same tree for more than five years can testify that the branches always remain where they started,whether somebody hangs swings on them or not.

Chaz (who also knows more important things about that swing)

--- On Fri, 8/27/10, Jansy <jansy@AETERN.US> wrote:

Bryson’s items on Halitosis, Psoriasis, Gillette, equivocal Edsel (I borrowed the book for a couple of minutes, only) suggest that Nabokov, in Montreux, chose a particular decade or two (twenties, thirties) for his “historical/actual” references. For a meticulous researcher as he, if this information proves to be correct, one might expect him to be pointing to something related to Shade’s emotional world. The poet’s love for Hazel always strikes me as false: if there’s any “pathos” it might be related to guilt feelings towards an event that would have happened long before the young woman committed suicide. Shade always returns to the sweet sentimental “swing” (a child’s plaything!), while he informs us that it hung from a tree which has grown considerably over the years. Were it not “a phantom swing” it would then be hanging from high up among the branches… This is why it has just occurred to me that Shade could be indicating a special period during his daughter’s infancy (describing dated adverts and returning over and over to a “phantom swing”).

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