NABOKV-L post 0023945, Wed, 17 Apr 2013 14:56:06 -0700

Forever Emerald
Esmeralda - a character in Victor Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris (1831); Van and Ada
call Lucette "our Esmeralda and mermaid" (2.8); the butterfly in VN's poem
"Lines Written in Oregon" (1953)
navsegda - Russ., for ever, for good; VN's "Lines Written in Oregon" end:
Esmeralda, immer, immer.

The link between Hugo and Ada, now there's a theme to conjure with. Hugo was
perhaps a more interesting water colorist than novelist, and his biography is
the stuff of legend. In an image I posted to the List many moons ago, you can
see that V H's rendition of his own monogram could very well have served as the
model for the Vaniada monogram described in Ada.
Esmeralda, immer immer of course refers to the color, the stone and the girl. As
Alexey says, this is the final line from a glorious poem written in Oregon. It
is a gorgeous thing. Let me just quote the last two stanzas:

And I rest where I awokeIn the sea shade – l’ombre glauque –
Of a legendary oak;
Where the woods get ever dimmer,
Where the Phantom Orchids glimmer –
Esmeralda, immer, immer.

Many will recall Pale Fire's Gerald Emerald, too, of course. I'm not sure if he
has ever been discussed on the List.


p.s. Alexey! which is that 'legendary oak'? a learned cat goes to and fro, no?
And why the sea shade? Kitezh perhaps?? How about that 'immer, immer' - Heine
perhaps? or Goethe?

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