NABOKV-L post 0023140, Sun, 29 Jul 2012 16:04:33 -0700

Subject
Re: Shakespeare connection, part IV - Pale Fire
Date
Body
My old friend, Stan, if I may,

Miss Natt-och-dag is also a fascinating character in one of Isaac
Dinesen's disarming tales. But this has already been discussed before
- check the archives, all ye who have an interest.

As for the "midst" - it is in the lyrics to 'If I loved you' by Rogers
and Hammerstein's Carrousel - so maybe not so archaic after all? ('off
you would go in the midst of day'). The migraine, by the way, is
Shade's (pre-cerebral hemmorage, weisst-du).

Good to 'hear' your voice,
Carolyn


On Jul 29, 2012, at 6:43 AM, stan@bootle.biz wrote:

I’m sure that many others have noted that Prof. Nattochdog’s name
puns that of the oldest Swedish noble family: Natt Och Dag.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natt_och_Dag
Allusionists will no doubt attach significance to the presence of
KNIGHTS in that family. There’s always a lurking chess piece to spice
up the action. (Hardly surprising: the pieces are named AFTER real-
world counterparts! Thereafter, any comparisons between Chess and
Human Warfare are quite superficial!)

To the Hurley-Burley, I offer a minority YAWN: So what?

Less boring, perhaps, is that Natt Och Dag literally echoes Cole
Porter’s 1932 classic hit Night And Day, significantly written for
the musical GAY Divorce (later renamed Gay DIVORCEE). Following VN-
list custom, I add that Nabokov MUST have been familiar with the
aforementioned ‘connections,’ even though he often (teasingly?)
denied such knowledge.

The tingle in my spine, re-reading Mike M’s PF extract, comes with
CK’s I once had to leave in the MIDST of a concert.
Attentive ‘Native Anglophones’ will applaud Nabokov’s brilliant
choice of the near-archaic/literary MIDST in the context of leaving a
concert. ‘In the MIDST of’ is no longer fully synonymous with ‘In
the MIDDLE of.’ One leaves, for example, an open-air concert in the
MIDST of a rainstorm.
And CK actually leaves in the MIDST of a migraine attack. But CK’s
‘in the MIDST of a CONCERT’ hints at a causal reversal. Almost, as
I read it, that the damned concert has helped trigger the migraine? At
least, in the many identity puzzles between Kinbote, Shade and
ultimate creator Nabokov, there may be a useful clue. Either VN was
unaware of the potential MIDST-of/MIDDLE-of ambiguities, or he
deliberately planted a clue about CK’s Kultur and poetic prowess.

Of the former, I would say ‘Perish the Thought.’ This is NOT based
on any general claims concerning VN’s ‘infallibility,’ as
recently debated on our List. Assertions and Opinions each carry their
individual criteria for TRUE/FALSE/UNDECIDABLE. And even in the most
devoutedly EVIDENCE-BASED domains, we see these three verdicts shift
as time goes by. (Paradigm) SHIFTS HAPPEN, as the bumper-sticker
proclaims.
Being WRONG is inevitable in Science. And being OPEN to revision
(eventually!) is the essential difference between Science and Theology.
(For right/wrong, read MYdoxy/YOURDoxy.)

For Human Scientists behaving BADLY, though, fudging data, cheating
over priority claims, and driven by Nobel Fever, see
The Secret Anarchy of Science: Free Radicals, Michael Brooks, 2011

Essential reading on VN’s occasional, but fruitful, human
fallibility, will be well known to Nabokovian lepidopterists:

Dazzled and Deceived: Mimicry and Camouflage, Peter Forbes, Yale Univ.
Press, 2009.

This gives a readable, balanced account of Nabokov’s many brilliant,
‘world-class,’ contributions, alongside his now widely-discounted
view that some forms of mimicry defy Darwinian explanations. These
views are NOT necessarily refuted by current consensus. The point of
ERROR is VN misreading the evidence (e.g., the Chinese Rhubarb example
in The Gift) to support his hypothesis. Our esteemed Dieter Zimmer
receives due credit from Forbes for tracing VN’s mistake to A E
Pratt’s To the Snows of Tibet through China (1892).

Stan Kelly-Bootle

On 27/07/2012 21:44, "Jansy" <jansy@AETERN.US> wrote:

> Mike M writes (excerpts): "Does anyone know who Paul H. Jr might be?
> Is there any connection between him and Paul Hentzner? [ ]Although
> it may be taken to refer to the man (whoever he was) who occupied
> this post at the time Hazel Shade was a student, the reader cannot
> be blamed for applying it to Paul H., Jr., the fine administrator
> and inept scholar who since 1957 headed the English Department of
> Wordsmith College. We met now and then (see Foreword and note to
> line 894) but not often. The Head of the Department to which I
> belonged was Prof. Nattochdag - "Netochka" as we called the dear
> man. Certainly the migraines that have lately tormented me to such a
> degree that I once had to leave in the midst of a concert at which I
> happened to be sitting beside Paul H., Jr., should not have been a
> stranger's business."[ ] Now to the Foreword, the second alleged
> reference to Paul H. Jr. Given that Paul H. Jr is an inept scholar,
> by a process of elimination he appears to be the the "Prof. H",
> whose potential collaboration with "Prof. C." Charles views with
> skepticism as co-editors of Shade's manuscript. I pointed out in an
> earlier post that these "professors" allude to Heminges & Condell,
> the alleged 'editors' of Shakespeare's First Folio, who as minimally
> educated actors would have been unqualified for that task. [ ]What
> about Paul Hentzner, who knew "the names of things"? There was a
> real Paul Hentzner, tutor to a German nobleman, who visited England
> in 1598, right in the middle of the Shakespeare period [ ] In the
> long note to line 894, CK mentions a "visiting German lecturer from
> Oxford", so that could relate, tangentially, to Hentzner. Later in
> the note the German drifts back in: ""Strange, strange," said the
> German visitor, who by some quirk of alderwood ancestry had been
> alone to catch the eerie note that had throbbed by and was
> gone."[ ]. Returning to Paul Hentzner; could Paul H Jr be his son?
> Kinbote tells us that Paul (senior?) "pleased John Shade much better
> than the suburban refinements of the English Department." -- perhaps
> the kind of place where his son worked? The chronology is deficient
> given that Hentzner's wife left him in 1950 with his son, presumably
> a child. 1950 seems to be a significant date in Pale Fire."
>
> JM: I always thought Paul H. was Prof. Hurley. The hypothesis about
> Paul Hentzer rattles my certainties, cultivated at first through
> some ancient postings from the Pynchon list, reproduced in the VN
> archives.
> Carolyn Kunin has recently mentioned Eberthella (Hurley?) and, in
> this case, she may have some interesting ideas to add.
> There is the connection between Kinbote and one of the Hurley boys,
> a party and other items - which I couldn't find using the Archive
> Google Search (it's not working as well as it did in the past when I
> need specific items from the N-L Archives).
>
> I'm bringing up a selection, although I cannot recollect the gist of
> the matters that were being discussed at that time.
>
> [ ] Kinbote is more taken with the draft version, "the Head of our
> Department deemed" because it focuses attention on Paul H., Jr.
> (Hurley?) who apparently became "interested" in Kinbote's migraine
> headaches and later discounted Kinbote's ability to edit Shade's
> poem, going so far as to say that Kinbote has a "deranged mind" and
> suggest legal action. Also, Hurley was invested in writing the Shade
> biography before Kinbote butted in. Line 71 commentary mentions
> this, too. Kinbote thinks that his own commentary will change Paul
> H's mind about Kinbote's sanity and his ability to edit the work. An
> enigmatic line ends the little section, "Southey liked a roasted rat
> for supper - which is especially comic in view of the rats that
> devoured his Bishop." This is apparently a double slam; he's
> referring to Paul H. eating crow and that he has been outmatched in
> the metaphoric chess game Kinbote thematically conjures up to keep
> the poem.Along those lines a question; is this the Bishop that the
> chess sophisticate "go(es) on a wild goose chase" to obtain while
> the na�ve serendipitously sees and acquires? (I can't find where I
> found that. Probably Brian Boyd's "Shade and Shape." ) But instead
> of eating crow, Kinbote has Paul H. eating a rat. Is this for
> "ratting" on him?"
> NABOKV-L Archives - LISTSERV Archives at LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU <http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&source=web&cd=6&ved=0CFYQFjAF&url=https%3A%2F%2Flistserv.ucsb.edu%2Flsv-cgi-bin%2Fwa%3FA2%3Dnabokv-l%3B7b0b960e.0310&ei=wPcSUKj6N4So8gTq4IGYCg&usg=AFQjCNFuig209VM7vcFUoZTA6cDewIFJ4A
> > https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A2=nabokv-l;7b0b960e... "
>
> Other entries: "Hurley's tumble-down ranch" See page 101:
> "[Kinbote's tutor, a Scotsman, used to call any old tumble-down
> building 'a hurley-house'" Fw: pynchon-l-digest V2 #3601 PALE FIRE
> - LISTSERV 16.0 ... <https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A2=nabokv-l;f8480dfa.0310
> > https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A2=nabokv-l;f8480dfa <https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A2=nabokv-l;f8480dfa
> > ...>
>
> text/html - LISTSERV 16.0 - NABOKV-L Archives <http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=Hurley+%22Paul%22+site:listserv.ucsb.edu&source=web&cd=14&ved=0CE8QFjADOAo&url=https%3A%2F%2Flistserv.ucsb.edu%2Flsv-cgi-bin%2Fwa%3FA3%3Dind0603%26L%3DNABOKV-L%26E%3D7bit%26P%3D1243672%26B%3D--%26T%3Dtext%252Fhtml%3B%2520charset%3DISO-8859-1%26XSS%3D3%26header%3D1&ei=QfkSUKyON5HO8wTO1YHQDw&usg=AFQjCNFJH8ufp_0_UeEc5Bu1cBVFXdp0lg
> > https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi.../wa?A3...
>
> "I do not know whether the following will stand up under further
> scrutiny (exact dates, etc.) but perhaps the most famous "serving"
> of rat in the cinema occurs in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?", a
> film released in 1962, the same year that PF was published. Most
> will know the plot of this cult film. It strikes me that the
> interdependence of the nostalgically mad Jane (Bette Davis) and her
> wheelchair-bound (and about to be "rediscovered") actress sister
> (Joan Crawford) bears a certain relationship to the Charles Kinbote-
> John Shade duet? And in the end there is the question: Who exactly
> has driven whom mad. Did VN perhaps see the film and find the
> dynamic stimulating? I would like to think that VN saw, and
> enjoyed, this bizarre, and comical, b&w classic![ ] (Paul Hurley
> "chairs" the English Department...?) Alternatively, is it too
> simple to think that Southey's name comes to mind (in the context of
> a person - Hurley - behaving like a "rat") because Southey was
> Laureate (Shade) to the King (Kinbote), and had written a famous
> poem about rats pursuing a Bishop (chesspiece) to a Castle? VN does
> lead one a merry dance, doesn't he?!" David Krol text/html -
> LISTSERV 16.0 - NABOKV-L Archives <http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CFEQFjAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Flistserv.ucsb.edu%2Flsv-cgi-bin%2Fwa%3FA3%3Dind0603%26L%3DNABOKV-L%26E%3Dquoted-printable%26P%3D1275194%26B%3D-------------------------------1143749198%26T%3Dtext%252Fhtml%3B%2520charset%3DUS-ASCII%26XSS%3D3%26header%3D1&ei=wPcSUKj6N4So8gTq4IGYCg&usg=AFQjCNFur2RZwbw9HZtdFpIFP2OW6oKasg
> > https://listserv.ucsb.edu/.../wa <https://listserv.ucsb.edu/.../
> wa> ?...
>
> " Paul Hurley, Jr., becomes head of the English Department at
> Wordsmith (n. 376-377)." (Jerry Friedman) .
> .Fw - LISTSERV 16.0 - NABOKV-L Archives <http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CFMQFjAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Flistserv.ucsb.edu%2Flsv-cgi-bin%2Fwa%3FA2%3Dnabokv-l%3B810d88c3.0306&ei=wPcSUKj6N4So8gTq4IGYCg&usg=AFQjCNH_CCdAQ-TD8DM5fNpoXNp11heROA
> > https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A2=nabokv-l;810d88c3 <https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A2=nabokv-l;810d88c3
> > ...

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