Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0015557, Mon, 8 Oct 2007 07:42:08 -0700

Re: Fw: [NABOKV-L] THOUGHTS: Russian King's Daughter
Dear Alexey,

Personally I think we have fallen into the dread Realm of
Coincidence, but since we're there let me bring to the List's
attention the fact that this tale, complete with incest and caskets,
also informs another Shakespeare play, Pericles. Haven't looked there
for cats, mermen or pale fires, but you never know.

On Oct 6, 2007, at 1:41 AM, Alexey Sklyarenko wrote:

> Dear Matt,
> As all Russian subscribers to the list will notice, this tale
> strikingly resembles Pushkin's "The Fairy Tale of the Tsar
> Saltan" (1831) - except that in the latter there is a Son (Prince
> Gvidon), instead of Daughter, no trace of incest, and a more
> northern-looking sea island, instead of Greece. The authors of "The
> Guide to Pushkin" included in the last volume of the Soviet edition
> of Pushkin's Complete Works do not mention this old German tale
> (unknown to Russian commentators?) as a possible source of
> Pushkin's fairy tale; nevertheless, according to them, Russian
> folklore versions of this fairy tale that were familiar to Pushkin
> begin with a cat that "sings" this tale (Pushkin used this image,
> the learned cat, in his marvelous Introduction poem to "Ruslan and
> Lyudmila"). Could it be a connection to Hodge (in a way, also a
> "learned cat") that hints, at the same time, that Shade is not shot
> after all?
> best,
> Alexey
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