NABOKV-L post 0014531, Fri, 29 Dec 2006 08:51:33 -0800

the Fourth in Pale Fire
So, I wonder... Who or what is the "Fourth" in Pale Fire? Jansy

A river in Scotland?*


Actually I doubt that VN was making any inference to a fourth of any kind,
but Scotland certainly is inferred in PF. Hazel Shade, whose name has a
Scottish source, seems to have died there.

Of course I take this as homage to RLS and Hogg, whose name I am glad to
inform the List does not mean a pig, but a lamb. Makes me wonder if the book
might not have been taken more seriously if the author had been named James
Lamb. I always found the name Hogg somewhat off-putting.

p.s. to Jansy: Doesn't VN make reference to a three-act play in the scene
you referred to? or tryptich? some kind of threesome anyway.

* The river Forth flows approximately 45 miles/72km from its source on the
slopes of Ben Lomond to expand into the Firth of Forth beyond Stirling at
Kincardine. The Forth is the major river in east central Scotland, and as
such complements the river Clyde in the west.

Search the archive:
Contact the Editors:,
Visit Zembla:
View Nabokv-L policies: