NABOKV-L post 0020944, Tue, 2 Nov 2010 23:05:43 -0600

Re: Botkin
Thanks for the reply, Stan. May I also remind you that I posted on
rezemblances between *Pale Fire* and *The Lord of the Rings?*

I might have added that as well as "[wood]wose", both PF and LotR contain
the rare word "laund". Zembla is a parody of the kind of world-building
that Tolkien did so well. Outside PF and LotR, both Tolkien and Nabokov
were professors who in addition to their perhaps surprisingly popular novels
published rhymed and metered poetry, translations (including medieval
epics), and literary scholarship. Tolkien's idea of "sub-creation" in the
essay "On Fairy-Stories" is closely related to the subject of Shade's poem.
Both had sons who have edited and published their fathers' work
posthumously, including unfinished work. The differences may be too obvious
to mention.

Is it possible you remembered my comparison when you posted? Or even more
slyly, knew that I participate in those straight-faced discussions of LotR?
I'll say in my defense that I do sometimes pause to mention the unreality of

Jerry Friedman

On Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 9:36 AM, Stan LIOB <> wrote:

> Most grateful for the reminder, JF. I also intended to comment on James
> Twiggs’ revelation (to me) that Cornell, as the plausible campus for Pale
> Fire, was far from the rural backwoods one often imagines from the novel.
> It leads me to re-examine the dynamics of how Shade, Kinbote/Botkin interact
> over the Zembla myths. I have in mind a similar (but different, of course)
> situation at Oxford as Tolkien started spinning his Hobbit Legends (as early
> as 1937; later full-blown in The Lord of the Rings, 1954). The Middle-Earth
> inhabitants would be the subject of *serious* mock-donnish hilarity (at
> Inklings meetings with C S Lewis et al), with much playful etymologizing
> (pseudo-Anglo-Saxon rather than invented Zemblan). Everyone shared the joke
> in private. With such a background in mind, it becomes difficult
> (impossible?) to claim that some Tolkienists were madder than others in
> confusing fact and myth.
> Briefly browsing for Lord of the Rings/Pale Fire links, reveals a devoted
> Tolkien fan club. Members never pause to deny the reality of Sméagol’s
> attack on Déagol, though they argue endlessly over his motivation. I haven’t
> found any direct links between Tolkien and VN (of which there must be many
> a-lurking), but one Hobbit-believer ends his posting with two treasured
> pearls
> *Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form* -- Vladimir Nabokov
> *Do not read as children do to enjoy themselves, or, as the ambitious do
> to educate themselves. No, read to live.* -- Gustave Flaubert

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