NABOKV-L post 0020684, Mon, 6 Sep 2010 22:49:43 -0300

Re: Alfin, Shade
Matt Roth: I know that Alfin's name has been discussed before on the list. Has it been noted that VN seems to be playing a game of opposites here? Alfin = alpha (the letter a, the beginning)
Alfin = al fin (the last/the end). I noticed one other opposition today that I somehow missed. John Shade is the product of Samuel Shade and Caroline Lukin. If Kinbote is right that Lukin comes from Luke (meaning light-giver), then Shade is the product of dark and light, or night and day (or Nattochdag even). Could this be more of a hint at his double nature?

JM: Exciting associations, Matt ( "alfin" and "fin", alpha and omega; Shade/Lukin as "dark and light," even Nattochdag...). Shade's "synthesis of sun and star" (day and night?) speaks against any double nature as a result of a radical split between "good and evil," "beauty and beast," although this kind of preoccupation about split off dimensions is very nabokovian. There's the river "Alph" in "Bend Sinister" about which I also wondered by its to Hamlet and those treacherous uncles and mothers (this thread begins with HH ancestors, in Lolita and winds through Pnin!). Could there be a hint about Aunt Maud and Samuel Shade? ( over-interpretation is dangerous but it's rather tempting).

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