NABOKV-L post 0020636, Mon, 30 Aug 2010 11:43:40 -0300

Re: RES: [NABOKV-L] PF and Burton and stars
G. Shafiee: "One needs only to read a few pages of Burton's translation to see the parasitical relationship of the author to the host text. Like Kinbote, Burton tries to control the reader's response through insistent reminders of his views at the foot of nearly every page."
JM: I cannot now find the source in which I read that it was Dante Alighieri who first made it into a habit to annotate his poems to control the reader's response. I only remembered this item because (for a very short while) I entertained the hypothesis that Kinbote might have been fashioned after Dante...

JM: I forgot a reference to Dante and Shade, by Kinbote, in his commentary to lines 47-48: " a bright goblet of liquor quietly traveled from filing cabinet to lectern, and from lectern to bookshelf, there to hid if need be behind Dante's bust..."(PF,Everyman's,p.89) Other Italian artists gain more space in "Ada," not being explicitly present in PF. Stephen Blackwell and S.Norquist will remember Sir Philip Sidney's studies related to Dante, among those other names, and to "Arcadia" (Dante has been a subject in former old Nab-L postings, but I didn't investigate them).

While searching for items related to trees and swings, I came to other items which I'd forgotten, and that remain puzzling to me. They are related to the theme discussed by Friedmann and others (who authored who and internal contradictions). On his note to Line 143 (when Kinbote sees Shade's little toy with a black gardener trundling a wheelbarrow) Shade seems to be uncomfortable that Kinbote imagines the toy to have belonged to Hazel and he hastens to add "it was as old as he." (Why couldn't Hazel have owned this particular toy?). The toy is Shade's "memento mori" ( his fainting fit while playing with it) and a prescient one at that (for the real gardener is trundling a barrow up the lane when.... Shade is shot????). Or there's nothing prescient about it. It is Kinbote who makes us think that the gardener in question was black, Balthazar, a "king of Loam." Shade, in fact, might have been describing any other lad, unrelated to his childhood's clockwork toy.
There is a hint about manipulation, by Kinbote. He writes: "we were interrupted...but never mind, now the rusty clockwork shall work again, for I have the key." Kinbote, at this point, knows how Shade's poem ended. He also tells us that Shade was shot while crossing over to his house, etc. The connection "clockwork toy", "Gradus" and Shade's last lines is a product of Kinbote's mind. It's not related to Shade...

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