Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0008810, Tue, 28 Oct 2003 19:31:07 -0800

pynchon-l-digest V2 #3623 (fwd) PALE FIRE
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 08:07:59 -0800
From: bekah <bekah0176@sbcglobal.net>
Subject: Re: NPPF: Commentary 3 (summary) Line 408

At 7:00 AM -0700 10/20/03, bekah wrote:

> The commentary to this line ends with a train running between the
> gardens, a black butterfly with red diagonal stripe heraldic
> butterfly crossing the stone parapet .** and John Shade taking a
> fresh card

and in the notes:

> ** black butterfly: Vanessa of Doom again, "A dark Vanessa" --
> Nabokov's beloved Red Admirable butterfly. See Jasper's comments
> at:
> <http://waste.org/mail/?list=pynchon-l&month=0307&msg=83922&keywords=Vane
> ssa>

Vanessa of Doom? Perhaps there's a mirror here with "Vanessa of
anticipated release" in death.

Could the black butterfly really be Hazel remembered and leading the
way, even in the Commentary?

flitting around herself perhaps?


Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 08:08:14 -0800
From: bekah <bekah0176@sbcglobal.net>
Subject: Re: NPPF: Commentary 4(summary and notes) Line 431

Hi again,

In Line 431 Kinbote advises us to see Line 440 which leads to this note.

I'm reading Bryan Boyd's Pale Fire: The Art of Artistic Discovery
(excellent, btw) and have had a little insight which is probably
pretty well explored previously somewhere but I thought I'd get it
out of my system anyway.

One aspect of the structure of Kinbote's commentary is to direct the
reader to either previous or subsequent lines. I can see that as
reflective of Shade's poem as well as the commentary in that Shade
and Kinbote go back and forth in their tales. Shade does it with the
Hazel's life (although that's mostly at the beginning and then the
"time forked" line, but again towards the end) and Kinbote does it
repeatedly throughout, with all the flashbacks and foreshadowing.

Could this also be an aspect of going forward into death and going
backwards into memory? Could the present material world be the words
and lines we are reading, reading future lines is going into death
and going backwards is memory? Just a thought.

That's all.



Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 12:31:26 -0800
From: bekah <bekah0176@sbcglobal.net>
Subject: Re: NPPF: Commentary 3 (summary) Line 408

I just put this together so don't blame B. Boyd if it's really dumb.
I got the idea from his work though.

At 7:00 AM -0700 10/20/03, bekah wrote:
> In the Delaware derivative outhouse there are references to "the
> King" and Gordon lies.

This is referring to the outhouse behind Libitina which Charles
apparently made use of. Gordon led Gradus by it on their way to the
gardens and pool. The sign says, in the charcoal script of a boy,
"The King was here."

And from Summary Line 347 by Scott Badger
> Kinbote ends his account of Hetzner with a description of his favorite,
> umm, watering hole. "Here Papa pisses." remarks H's son.


I don't quite know what to make of it but it did strike me as
interesting that Kinbote should make note, via young boys, of the
non-residential bathroom practices of grown men. One is possibly
somewhere near "the barn," one outside Libitina.

hushing now! (Even if she is immersed in Boyd's work)


D. Barton Johnson