NABOKV-L post 0014454, Wed, 20 Dec 2006 07:24:04 -0800

from ck to AB on brocken in PF & Hogg

The Brocken Spectre appears when a low sun is behind a climber who is
looking downwards into mist from a ridge or peak. The "spectre" is the
shadowy figure - the glow and rings are of course a glory centered
directly opposite the sun at the antisolar point. But how is the ghostly
figure produced? It is no more than the shadow of the climber projected
forward through the mist. All shadows converge towards the antisolar point
where the glory also shines. The sometimes odd triangular shape is a
perspective effect. The Brocken Spectre is a similar effect to
anti-crepuscular rays and cloud shadows.

Dear A. Bouazza,

This "Brocken Spectre" figures prominently in Hogg's Confessions, Coleridge
("cedarn") traveled to the Harz mountains in Germany in hopes of
experiencing the optical illusion, and Shade's parahelia suggest that VN too
found it an interesting phenomenon.


p.s. I haven't read the novel, but I wonder if "Glory" doesn't refer to the
optical effect?

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