Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0020899, Sat, 23 Oct 2010 17:43:02 -0200

Fw: [NABOKOV-L] Pale Fire's omniscience
Dear List,

While I was trying to locate PF's verses "man's life as commentary," I realized that, once in a while, the poem admits an "omniscient narrator" perspective, or an external intrusion.
Kinbote acknowledges his "hearsay" evidence (when he relies on Jane Dean's notes, for example). In Shade's poem they are marked by "italics." (when he can know what Hazel said to the busdriver, or how the watchman came from his shack to rescue her, side by side with what describes dialogues heard on the TV or read the inscription on a bark).
I don't know if there are other instances, similar to these. Nor if the use of "italics" is indicative of various other types of warning signals. Any ideas?

1. Life is a message scribbled in the dark.

2. He took one look at her, / And shot a death ray at well-meaning Jane.

3. "Sure you don't mind?/ I'll catch the Exton plane, because you know / If I don't come by midnight with the dough -"

4. More headlights in the fog. There was no sense/ In window-rubbing: only some white fence / And the reflector poles passed by unmasked.

5. "I think," she said,/ "I'll get off here." "It's only Lochanhead." / "Yes, that's okay." Gripping the stang, she peered/ 460 At ghostly trees. Bus stopped. Bus disappeared.

6. Out of his lakeside shack/ A watchman, Father Time, all gray and bent, / Emerged with his uneasy dog and went / Along the reedy bank. He came too late.

7. Man's life as commentary to abstruse / Unfinished poem

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