Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0027083, Thu, 30 Jun 2016 02:43:01 -0600

Re: One more Brown in ADA and Pale Fire
I'm sure there is a post about this somewhere in the forum, but I'll post
anyway since it didn't come up in my email search and I haven't been paying
much attention to my email lately. It's very, very good. I've surely
traveled the roads of the US as much as Nabokov if one counts repeating the
same routes many times. ☺

On Sun, Jun 26, 2016 at 9:27 PM, Jansy Mello <jansy.mello@outlook.com>

> After reading a few lines related to Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale",
> referencing Charles A. Brown, the poets' very close friend and host at the
> time of the Ode's composition, I decided to check the "Brown" surname in
> Brian Boyd's *Ada Online*, in connection to Van's references to a poet
> named Robert Brown [from ADA I, 23: "What we have here’ (turning the
> pages reverently) ‘is no less than a collection of the most beautiful and
> famous short poems in the English language. This tiny one, for example, was
> composed in tears forty years ago by the Poet Laureate Robert Brown, the
> old gentleman whom my father once pointed out to me up in the air on a
> cliff under a cypress, looking down on the foaming turquoise surf near
> Nice, an unforgettable sight for all concerned. It is called 'Peter and
> Margaret'." [ ] " ‘I kept for years — it must be in my Ardis nursery —
> the anthology you once gave me; and the little poem you wanted me to learn
> by heart is still word-perfect in a safe place of my jumbled mind, with the
> packers trampling on my things, and upsetting crates, and voices calling,
> time to go, time to go. Find it in Brown and praise me again for my
> eight-year-old intelligence as you and happy Ada did that distant day, that
> day somewhere tinkling on its shelf like an empty little bottle." ]
> *B.B's annotations:* 145.18-19:
> <http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/ada123.htm#145.18> *composed in tears
> forty years ago by the Poet Laureate Robert Brown*: On Earth William
> Wordworth was Poet Laureate forty years before 1884. The poet Robert
> Browning, although one of the two dominant bards of Victorian England,
> was never the laureate, unlike his counterpart, Alfred, Lord Tennyson,
> poet laureate from 1850 until his death, and therefore, if he exists on
> Antiterra, at the time Lucette is challenged to learn this poem. Another
> poet laureate with a name not unlike Robert Brown, Robert Bridges, held
> the office from 1913 until his death, and thus throughout the years Nabokov
> lived in England, 1919-1922. Another referent may be the botanist Robert
> Brown[...]who named many species of orchid; see notes to I.16 and I.17#.
> MOTIF: http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/motifs.htm#brown.
> In my opinion, there are a few curious, disparate elements in Charles
> Brown's biography that warrant the inclusion of his name among the
> "Brown-Motifs" in Ada Online (although he was not a "poet laureate"). Maps
> and navigators in ADA were sometimes connected to discovery of routes for
> the Russian fur trade and, some time before Brown developed a close
> friendship and collaboration with the poet Keats, he'd lived in St.
> Petersburg dealing in that kind of commerce*. As he asserted in his
> biography of JK it was he who'd copied and ordered his friend's scattered
> lines which were then "preserved by his own doing". And not only that, he
> also claimed that his residence in Hampstead provided inspiration for its
> composition.**
> It never occurred to me to wonder if Van Veen's references to John Shade's
> "Pale Fire" were dependent of Charles Kinbote's original edition or if it
> had been presented to him and to Ada as an independent work ...
> btw: Like Tennyson (Skylark) and Keats (Nightingale), John Shade was not
> an ornithologist - but he mentioned in his waxwing poem that both his
> parents were ornithologists...***
> ............................................................................................................................................................................................
> **Charles Armitage Brown* was born in Lambeth (London). He had very
> little formal education and to a large extent was self-taught. He began a
> career as a merchant, starting as a clerk at the age of fourteen, earning
> £40 per year. At eighteen he joined his brother in St. Petersburg, Russia in
> a fur-trading business where they were to accumulate the sum of £20,000,
> only to lose most of it in an unwise speculation in bristles. They
> returned to England almost penniless, though Brown capitalized on his
> Russian experience by writing a comic opera, *Narensky, or, The Road to
> Yaroslaf*, which was produced at Drury Lane in January 1814 [ ] Brown is
> best known for his close friendship with the poet John Keats.[ ] Shortly
> after their meeting, Keats and Brown were planning to see Scotland
> together. Their famous tour was described in their letters and in “Walks in
> the North”. In 1818, after Keats's brother died of tuberculosis or
> consumption as it was called in his day, Keats moved into Brown’s half of
> Wentworth Place, taking the front parlor, where he lived for the next
> seventeen months. During this time Brown collaborated with Keats on a play, *Otho
> the Great*, which was not staged until the 1950s.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Armitage_Brown
> **"*Ode to a Nightingale*" is a poem by John Keats written either in the
> garden of the Spaniards Inn, Hampstead, London or, according to Keats'
> friend Charles Armitage Brown
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Armitage_Brown>, under a plum tree
> in the garden of Keats' house at Wentworth Place, also in Hampstead.
> According to Brown, a nightingale had built its nest near the house Keats
> and Brown shared in the spring of 1819. Inspired by the bird's song, Keats
> composed the poem in one day. It soon became one of his 1819 odes and was
> first published in*Annals of the Fine Arts* the following July.[ ] The
> nightingale described within the poem experiences a type of death but does
> not actually die. Instead, the songbird is capable of living through its
> song, which is a fate that humans cannot expect. In the poem, Keats
> imagines the loss of the physical world and sees himself dead—as a "sod"
> over which the nightingale sings. The contrast between the immortal
> nightingale and mortal man sitting in his garden, is made all the more
> acute by an effort of the imagination. Brown [ ] claimed the poem was
> directly influenced by his house and preserved by his own doing. However,
> Keats relied on both his own imagination and other literature as sources
> for his depiction of the nightingale.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ode_to_a_Nightingale
> ***Cf. this interesting note about the Ode's "critical acclaim": "In
> 1906, Alexander Mackie argued: 'The nightingale and the lark for long
> monopolised poetic idolatry--a privilege they enjoyed solely on account of
> their pre-eminence as song birds. Keats's *Ode to a Nightingale* and
> Shelley's *Ode to a Skylark* are two of the glories of English
> literature; but both were written by men who had no claim to special or
> exact knowledge of ornithology as such'."
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ode_to_a_Nightingale
> # *Ada Online*: The name “Brown” is that of Professor Brown of Boston
> “who wrote the rather slap-bang Original Description” (106.14-15, 107.27).
> The professor’s name may echo that of the famous botanist
> http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/1053334rbrown.htm, who of course named many
> plant genera and species, and that of the Colorado lepidopterist
> F[rederick] Martin Brown (1903-1993), with whom Nabokov disagreed over the
> application of statistics to lepidoptery: see “Remarks on F. Martin Brown’s
> ‘Measurements and Lepidoptera,’” The Lepidopterists’ News, 4 (1950), 75-76,
> rpt. in Nabokov’s Butterflies, ed. Brian Boyd and Robert Michael Pyle
> (Boston: Beacon, 2000), 458-60. Darwin took issue with the botanist - The
> Various Contrivances by Which Orchids are Fertilised by Insects , 2 nd ed.
> (1877; rpt. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984), p. 54, - where he
> notes that “Robert Brown first observed that the structure of the Bee
> Ophrys is adapted for self-fertilisation” and adds in a footnote: “Brown
> erroneously believed that this peculiarity was common to the genus. As far
> as the four British species are concerned, it applies to this one alone.”
> He then records: “Long and often as I have watched plants of the Bee
> Ophrys, I have never seen one visited by any insect. Robert Brown imagined
> that the flowers resembled bees in order to deter their visits, but this
> seems extremely improbable” (pp. 55-56).
> Google Search
> <http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&AMP;hl=en%0A>
> the archive
> <http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&AMP;hl=en%0A>
> Contact
> <dana.dragunoiu@gmail.com,nabokv-l@utk.edu,shvabrin@humnet.ucla.edu>
> the Editors <nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu> NOJ
> <http://www.nabokovonline.com> Zembla
> <http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm> Nabokv-L
> <http://web.utk.edu/%7Esblackwe/EDNote.htm>
> Policies <http://web.utk.edu/%7Esblackwe/EDNote.htm> Subscription options
> <http://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=NABOKV-L> AdaOnline
> <http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/> NSJ Ada Annotations
> <http://vnjapan.org/main/ada/index.html> L-Soft Search the archive
> <https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A0=NABOKV-L> VN Bibliography
> Blog <http://vnbiblio.com/>
> All private editorial communications are read by both co-editors.


Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,dana.dragunoiu@gmail.com,shvabrin@humnet.ucla.edu
Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com
AdaOnline: "http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/
The Nabokov Society of Japan's Annotations to Ada: http://vnjapan.org/main/ada/index.html
The VN Bibliography Blog: http://vnbiblio.com/
Search the archive with L-Soft: https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A0=NABOKV-L

Manage subscription options :http://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=NABOKV-L