NABOKV-L post 0018291, Tue, 5 May 2009 08:43:24 -0600

Re: THOUGHTS: JF's replies to Andrea Pitzer and Jansy Mello
Thanks to Andrea Pitzer for the citation about Nabokov's placing himself
with Shakespeare and Pushkin.

She writes

As to what I think was your suggestion about the poem itself--that Shade is
> supposed to be second-to-Frost because VN sensed English verse was one of
> his lesser gifts--it's an intriguing idea.

That is what I was suggesting, but I'm sure I'm not the first to suggest
it. I'm sorry that I don't remember where I've seen it.

Jansy Mello writes:

Jerry Friedman, quite often in *Pale Fire* it is suggested that Gradus is
Kinbote's automaton, his clock-work toy, his (and our) death drive. You
might remember that in Nabokov's earlier novel, *King, Queen, Knave,* there
are automatons, a gardener trundling a barrow, a Red Vanessa...

I'd say that /Kinbote/ often suggests that Gradus is an automaton or
clockwork toy, and associates him with death (especially) in the last line.

I must admit I haven't read /King, Queen, Knave/. Those similarities are
interesting (though the Vanessa is hardly surprising).

Jerry Friedman

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