NABOKV-L post 0018352, Wed, 27 May 2009 21:05:08 -0600

Re: [NABOKOV-L] Castor, lightining... a Query
On Mon, May 25, 2009 at 3:04 PM, jansymello <> wrote:

> Next I got confused by a side-issue: sometime after 1950 Hentzner had the
> barn destroyed and only a tuft of grass could be examined by Shade and
> Kinbote, approximately nine years later.
> When did Hazel spend the night with mama and papa in the unburnt-barn?

The first sentence of note 347 says this happened in October, 1956. I
believe the time sequence is: Hentzner moved
away from his farm in 1950, he died in one of the next few summers (missing
from my timeline, so thanks for bringing
it up), a young couple took advantage of the unwatched barn and saw the
will-o-the-wisp in Oct. 1956, Hazel investigated
then, and "the authorities" demolished the barn on Shade's instigation not
too long after that.

By the way, the usual spelling now is "St. Elmo's fire". If you're
researching it, you'll probably find more under
that name.

> Would Hazel's experience with "lights" ( preceded by HH's mother's death by
> lightning and followed by abolished electricity in ADA and its veeny swamps)
> be among the meanings associated to Pale Fire?

That seems very reasonable to me. Boyd connects them.

On another subject: As I recall, you recently asked about Charles's and
Kinbote's beard. If I may answer this late--Kinbote says in note 12 that he
hasn't shaved for a year. He would have written this sometime during
August, September, or October, 1959, maybe in August, since it's at the
beginning of his Commentary. He may have in mind that he stopped shaving on
his escape from the Royal Palace, which he dates to mid August, 1958.

When Botkin stops shaving is a question that I don't think can be answered.
(I really plan to finish my comments on Matt Roth and Tiffany DeRewal's
paper at some point.)

Jerry Friedman

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