NABOKV-L post 0007079, Wed, 13 Nov 2002 20:15:10 -0800

Subject
Fw: Fw: frail roommate in Pale Fire
Date
Body
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jennifer Parsons" <jdparsons@shaw.ca>
To: "Vladimir Nabokov Forum" <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
>
> ----------------- Message requiring your approval (48
lines) ------------------
> Caroline,
>
> Hazel was what - twenty-three - when she died?
>
> The poem goes:
>
> We sent her, though, to a chateau in France
>
> And she returned in tears, with new defeats
> New miseries. On days when all the streets
> of College Town led to the game, she'd sit
> On the library steps, and read of knit;
> Mostly alone she'd be, or with that nice
> Frail roommate, now a nun; and, once or twice,
> With a Korean boy who took my course.
>
> It seems to me Hazel was attending university when she died. The
> "roommate" and future nun was either just that - a roommate of Hazel's
> in residence at the university (in which case she'd have been back at
> her folks for Easter break on the night of her death), or, more likely
> given proximity of home to college and unlikeliness of living in
> residence, a "roommate" in the sense of one who shared with her the
> abandoned library - and/or other empty public spaces - when others were
> all at the "big game".
>
> Please advise anyone who has a different idea of what VN meant by this.
>
> "D. Barton Johnson" wrote:
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Carolyn Kunin" <chaiselongue@earthlink.net>
> > >
> > > ----------------- Message requiring your approval (12
> > lines) ------------------
> > > It seems to me there are only two possibilities regarding the roommate
who
> > > sometimes sits with Hazel, even though Hazel lives at home with her
> > parents.
> > >
> > > Either Nabokov made an error or Shade did. If the error is Shade's,
which
> > I
> > > suspect, then this is more evidence that he is having an affair with a
> > > student (the blond "in ballerina black"). He recognizes his paramour's
> > > roommate, but attaches her to a more suitable person, a common liar's
> > > device.
> > >
> > > Any other interpretations?
> > >
> > > Carolyn Kunin