I know that Alfin's name has been discussed before on the list. Has it been noted that VN seems to be playing a game of opposites here? Alfin = alpha (the letter a, the beginning)
Alfin = al fin (the last/the end)
I noticed one other opposition today that I somehow missed. John Shade is the product of Samuel Shade and Caroline Lukin. If Kinbote is right that Lukin comes from Luke (meaning light-giver), then Shade is the product of dark and light, or night and day (or Nattochdag even). Could this be more of a hint at his double nature?
AS: "Note that Alfin = final = alin + f (cf. "she [Countess de Fyler] beat them [seven councilors] by one alin and spat out the news", n. to line 71"