NABOKV-L post 0018105, Tue, 31 Mar 2009 06:23:50 -0700

Re: the meaning of preterist
On Mar 30, 2009, at 8:41 PM, jansymello wrote: You stressed the word
preterist. Do you have any interpretations of your own?

Dear Jansy,

The word has only two usages that I am aware of -- one is grammatical
(Hebrew has a preterist "mood" if you like, neither passé composé nor
passé simple), the other is a particular, according to some
"heretical", interpretation of the bible.* Neither of which makes
sense in the context of the poem, except possibly in the sense of
"heretic", which at least works grammatically but still needs
explanation. In the wilder flights of my own reading of PF, I have
conjectured the possibility of parricide (a word which does occur in
the poem) which would in this case mean matricide, and the fact that
Charles Kinbote's name bears an uncanny resemblance to Carolyn
Lukin's. I have thought it interesting that the Shade house lies
between that of a judge and that of Shade's (possibly mental)
physician. I have conjectured that the two were each keeping an eye on
the troubled quandam youth, who may have been the six-year old
offender mentioned in the poem.

As this remains even to me wildly conjectural, I wondered if there are
any other more plausible interpretations as to what Nabokov &/or Shade
intended or why, which is why I asked.


* It has to do with Jesus' own belief that he was in fact heralding in
the end of days, and the belief by some that he was correct and that
the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 "AD" was the real
apocalypse prophesied by Jesus. Ironically this is considered
heretical by most churches who believe we have not yet reached the
"end of days."
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