NABOKV-L post 0026494, Fri, 2 Oct 2015 18:50:18 +0000

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Re: THOUGHTS: Gilgamesh and "Pale Fire"
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First, a brief erratum: I just noticed that I transposed the ‘fountain’ and the ‘mountain’ in my original note. Shade goes in search of a white fountain but finds instead a mountain. This embarrassing (but oddly appropriate) mix-up does not substantially alter my point about thematic connections.

Another potential connection between “Pale Fire” and Gilgamesh, comes from the etymology of the name ‘Gilgamesh’ itself. Kramer, in his 1944 article (Journal of the American Oriental Society. vol. 64. pp. 7-23) claims that, “…the most likely etymology is gi(b)ilg(a)-mes ‘the father, the hero.’ ” John Shade’s role as ‘father’ is, of course, central to the action of “Pale Fire.”



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