NABOKV-L post 0024138, Fri, 3 May 2013 10:11:06 -0700

Subject
Bright eyed parricide?
Date
Body
It was my faulty memory that did me in. I did not, like you, remember the
chronology of events, and therefore did not recall that it was only one parent.
Maybe I never figured that out at all - don't recall.

The matricide does somehow fit in with the homosexuality of Kinbote whose first
name is definitely related to that of Shade's mother, Caroline (not my
discovery).

In my Webster's III (I could double check) I believe it states that parricide
could be the murder of either parent. There is, by the way, besides the
judgmental neighbor, another set of references to the law. The only one that
immediately springs to mind is the placename of Lex in Switzerland. I could
check to see if there really is a Lex in der Schweitz I guess.

The rest of your questions will take some digging on my part - into the book and
into my brain - maybe even into the archives. But today's another busy day in
Dogpatch USA, so I'll get back to you later with all the rest. I'm trying to get
a Passport so I can go to England a week from tomorrow, and it's getting dicey.

Carolyn

let me just take a stab at a response: I think that for whatever reason Shade
was disturbed. Did he really kill his parent? or perhaps merely fantasize? make
an attempt? I don't really know. But he did somehow end up, possibly through
intervention of the court, in therapy with Dr Colt. Hypnosis was involved. If
there was no murder, then no one need know about it except the immediate family.

Sybil is an interesting case, though, since she is a relative of Shade's on the
paternal possibly French Canadian side (there is also a Russian maternal side).
She clearly is aware that Shade is alchoholic. According to Kinbote she is also
aware of his dalliance with a student and possibly knows of the child born of
that union. She returns to Canada while her husband is still alive - because as
I read it, he is still alive and living in a mental institution, not dead at all
as the circular book closes, or seems to. What else can I say? nothing right
now. Gotta run.



________________________________
From: Jerry Friedman <jerryfriedman1@GMAIL.COM>
To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
Sent: Fri, May 3, 2013 9:45:45 AM
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] Minor points: Surnames and name days


Carolyn Kunin <chaiselongue@att.net> wrote:


Have we straightened out the timing disparity? Is there really one? As I have
mentioned, I think it probably that he, the bright little parricide aged seven,
was a matricide -- oh, now I see: the misunderstanding stems from parricide
meaning not patricide, but murderer of a parent or parents, grandparents, too I
should suppose.I too made that boo boo in earlier readings. Check it out.
>

Well, you did say he offed his parents (plural), so I don't think it was too big
a boo-boo on my part to think you meant to include his father. What was a
mistake was thinking you meant killing his father was his only murder and
thinking that "bright little parricide aged seven" must mean that's how old he
was when he killed whoever it was (though it certainly seems likely). I see
that you and I did have this discussion once before and you did hint that you
thought Shade had killed his mother--so I forget not only what you wrote but
what I wrote.

I did forget that parricide means "A person who kills a near relative (now
usually a father)" as the OED puts it. One of the citations is "1570 J. Foxe
Actes & Monumentes (rev. ed.) I. 896/1 Thus was Solyman murderer and
paricide [1583 parricide] of hys owne sonnes." This should widen the field for
you.

So what do you think? Did he kill his father when he was between
three-and-a-half and four-and-a-half? How old was he when he killed his
mother? How old might Judge Goldsworth have been when that picture was taken,
and is that consistent with what we know about him later? Is Kinbote wrong when
he says that the pictures were "of people he had sent to prison and condemned to
death", or did little Johnny go to prison and get out in time to marry Sybil,
who didn't mind his having killed his parents? And did Kinbote read this little
criminal's life history, which he said was in the album, and suppress the fact
that it was Shade's?



Dear Jansy,
>
>
>You wrote: Why do you suppose that "the little parricide" was John Shade? All I
>got was: "I wish to convey, in making this reference to Wordsmith briefer than
>the notes on the Goldsworth and Shade houses, the fact that the college was
>considerably farther from them than they were from one another. It is probably
>the first time that the dull pain of distance is rendered through an effect of
>style and that a topographical idea finds its verbal expression in a series of
>foreshortened sentences." There are other clues, right? What are they?

The other clues are in Jekyll and Hyde. I just realized that this part of your
note was not addressed to me.

(I think it was addressed to you. I don't recall anyone else suggesting
recently that "the little parricide" was John Shade.)


Nevertheless ...if you accept my hypothesis that there is a relationship between
Pale Fire and Jekyll and Hyde, then you will find it interesting to note that
Shade doesn't know what his parents look like.

I imagine one piece of evidence for this is "I've tried / So often to evoke them
that today / I have a thousand parents. Sadly they / Dissolve in their own
virtues and recede". Is there any other?


That doesn't say he doesn't know what they looked like. Maybe he used
photographs in many attempts to evoke specific memories of them, how they
sounded, how they held him, what they did. He appears to be interested in their
"virtues", not their faces, though I find "Dissolve in their own virtues" hard
to understand.


I found it odd -- apparently no one else does.* What is then interesting is to
note that Dr Jekyll's younger brother (so to speak), Mr Hyde, destroys all
evidence of Jekyll's parents. In a fit of pique, he destroys all letters written
from J to his parents, and his (or their, I guess) father's portrait.
>
>
>I took this and ran with it to the bank. Do you see? the implication, I mean.
>What I mean is that like Hyde, Shade destroyed -- must have destroyed -- his
>parents portraits. Why would he do such a thing? Do you see now? I thought it
>likely that Shade, having killed his mother (his 'younger brother, Kinbote**)
>couldn't bear to have any reminders - or perhaps, good old Doctor Colt told
>Aunt Maude to hyde them (pun intended).

So if Shade really hasn't seen pictures of his parents, maybe he didn't destroy
the pictures, in which case there's much less resemblance between him and J&H.


Carolyn
>*as I noted when I initially reported this trouvaille, we live in the age of
>photographs. How is it possible that Shade doesn't know what his parents looked
>like?

We live in that age, but Samuel Shade didn't. The Kodak Brownie became
available in 1901, the year before the year of Samuel's death. Before that, I
believe photography was only for specialists. I don't think we can be sure that
there would have been good pictures of his parents at or close to the time when
John Shade was alive.


**Kinbote, as I noted many moons ago, refers to Hyde's first crime in J & H. And
as someone else noticed, perhaps Jerry F?, or possibly Charles from
Scandanavia?, that the name Charles (masc. form of Caroline) might have been
derived from his mother's.

I don't think it was me. It's certainly true, and it makes me wonder when
Kinbote found out Shade's mother's first name.


I can't recall now, but I also figured out that she, his mother, was possibly
of Russian descent, making Shade the "scholar of Russian descent" at Waindell,
commonly supposed to refer to Kinbote.

Wordsmith, and Botkin is the character who Kinbote says is an "American scholar
of Russian descent".


Charles is hardly a Slavic or Scandanavian name - nor is Kinbote either, for
that matter. Well, all of this is to be found in the archives, for any who wish
to pursue it further.
>

Overtly, Charles is an anglicization of Karl, and Kinbote is "a kind of anagram
of Botkin or Botkine." Those seem like suitably Slavic and Scandinavian
origins, not that I see any bearing either way on your reading of PF.


Jerry Friedman




________________________________
From: Jansy <jansy@AETERN.US>
>To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
>Sent: Mon, April 29, 2013 10:56:15 AM
>Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] Minor points: Surnames and name days
>
>
>Jansy Mello: inspite of innumerous inspired angles and photography, or the play
>inside the play blending fictional reality and its representation, I disliked
>enormously the recent production of Anna Karenina, directed by Joe Wright. The
>real world of a novelist, at least its intelligibility, gains consistency by
>details (caress them) and I missed them all, inspite of all the luxurious lamps
>and trinkets.
>Jerry Katsell: Perhaps Nabokov, who was capable of uninhibited, uproarious
>laughter, would have enjoyed some original details in the Joe Wright directed
>Anna Karenina. My favorite moment was during the race scene when Frou Frou,
>Vronsky holding on for dear life, crashes into the orchestra pit. J
>
>Jansy Mello: During this episode I kept expecting the farcical race horse scene
>from "My Fair Lady." The meaty stumbling Frou Frou filled me with pity.
>
>
>Abdel Bouazza: The recollection of children playing among other games hide and
>seek on Vladimir’s name-day and forgetting about Peter who was still hiding and
>therefore missed the picnic he was looking forward to is from VN’s short story
>“A Bad Day” (Obida, 1931) included in Details of a Sunset & Other Stories.
>
>Jansy Mello: One added information: a celebration on Vladimir's name-day was
>described in his short story "A Bad Day." And, of course, a precise correction
>by AB: the scene I had in mind was not included in "Speak,Memory."
>
>
>Jerry Friedman: I didn't remember Carolyn Kunin's suggestion "that John Shade
>is the young miscreant that was judged by Judge whatsisname (next-door
>neighbor) with the alphabetic daughters, for having offed his parents when he
>was but a wee bairn." This runs into problems with the timing. The more
>important one, probably, is that Kinbote's statement that the little parricide
>was seven (n. 47-48) would contradict his statement that Samuel Shade died in
>1902 (n. 71), which is when John was three or four.
>
>Jansy Mello: Why do you suppose that "the little parricide" was John Shade? All
>I got was: "I wish to convey, in making this reference to Wordsmith briefer
>than the notes on the Goldsworth and Shade houses, the fact that the college
>was considerably farther from them than they were from one another. It is
>probably the first time that the dull pain of distance is rendered through an
>effect of style and that a topographical idea finds its verbal expression in a
>series of foreshortened sentences." There are other clues, right? What are
>they?
>Google Search the archive Contact the Editors Visit "Nabokov Online Journal"
>Visit Zembla View Nabokv-L Policies Manage subscription options Visit AdaOnline
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>
> All private editorial communications are read by both co-editors.
>Google Search the archive Contact the Editors Visit "Nabokov Online Journal"
>Visit Zembla View Nabokv-L Policies Manage subscription options Visit AdaOnline
>View NSJ Ada Annotations Temporary L-Soft Search the archive
>
>All private editorial communications are read by both co-editors.

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