NABOKV-L post 0023925, Mon, 15 Apr 2013 08:33:58 -0700

Re: Canada: Ada and Pale Fire
Dear Jansy,

'Up North' features in Pale Fire of course and Sybil is a French Canadian bird,
more specifically an Irondelle. The furthest South achieved by Vladimir and Vera
N. as far as I know, at least in the Americas, was Southern California, which I
believe is more South than Nice, but I could be wrong about that. They lived in
Mandeville (very botanical name) Canyon, near Pali Hi which rivaled my high
school, Uni, in athletics. Pali being short for Palisades, it being in the area
known as Pacific Palisades.

The Vs N surely went south from there to visit Palos Verdes Peninsula where the
famous blue butterflies were abundant. In those days the coast was covered with
strawberry and flower farms which thrived in the morning fogs and dews. Nowadays
it's almost all Beverly Hills by the Sea, though there is a touch of Venice in a
small shopping mall.

The Palos Verdes blues were long thought extinct, but have since resurfaced and
so far as I know are doing well.


p.s. The Palos Verdes blue is particularly lovely butterfly - check out
wikipedia for more information and image

From: Jansy <jansy@AETERN.US>
Sent: Sun, April 14, 2013 6:43:02 PM
Subject: [NABOKV-L] Canada: Ada and Pale Fire

While ordering my image-archives, related to Nabokov, I found D.Zimmer's
representation of Antiterra. Ardis is situated close to Quebec in Canada.
Being devoid of any kind of geographical talent, I'm unable to proceed with my
associations related to the importance of Canada (or its symbolization) in the
writings of V.N, or to its equivalence with Russia and St. Petersburg.
All I know (but not with certainty) is that V.N's life and wanderings took
place exclusively in the Northern hemisphere. and that representationally it
seems to have been bent over itself to recreate the roundness (or
"geoidness") of our planet It seems that this would be a valid representation
of the world and the habitat of certain butterfly families or species, not for
Not only in "Ada or Ardor, a family chronicle," but in "Pale Fire" Canada looms
large*. What kind of connections have been established between New Wye,
Appalachia and certain European cities (Palermo???).What could these indicate?

. ..........................................................................

*References to Canada in Pale Fire:
1. Sybil Shade "unfortunately she left New Wye even before I did, and is
dwelling now with relatives in Quebec [ ] Shadeans "headed for Canada in
droves to pounce on the poor lady"
2. lines 81-82 " Here, tucked away by the Canadian maid,/ I listened to the
buzz downstairs and prayed."
3. "He never tired of illustrating by means of these examples the extraordinary
blend of Canadian Zone and Austral Zone that "obtained," as he put it, in that
particular spot of Appalachia where at our altitude of about 1,500 feet
northern species of birds, insects and plants commingled with southern
4. John Shade’s wife, née Irondell [ ] was a few months his senior. I
understand she came of Canadian stock, as did Shade’s maternal grandmother (a
first cousin of Sybil’s grandfather, if I am not greatly mistaken).
5.CK on line 678: "Two of these translations appeared in the August number of
the Nouvelle Revue Canadienne [ ] I have no space here to list a number of
other blurrings and blunders in this Canadian version of the Dean of St. Paul’s
denouncement of Death, that slave — not only to "fate" and "chance" — but also
to us ("kings and desperate men")".
6. " Niagarin who had lived in Canada spoke English and French; Andronnikov had
some German. The little Zemblan they knew was pronounced with that comical
Russian accent that gives vowels a kind of didactic plenitude of sound."

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