From V.N’s opening chapter in “Speak,Memory”:
“The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.”

ADA, part I
a) “ Demon, (…besides many dusty pots of colored grease, happened to be stored) proceeded to possess her between two scenes (Chapter Three and Four of the martyred novel);”

(b)His heart missed a beat [  ], so struck was he by the wonder of that brief abyss of absolute reality between two bogus fulgurations of fabricated life.”).

(c) “When speaking of space we can imagine a live speck in the limitless oneness of space; but there is no analogy in such a concept with our brief life in time, because however brief [   ], our awareness of being is not a dot in eternity, but a slit, a fissure, a chasm running along the entire breadth of metaphysical time, bisecting it and shining — no matter how narrowly — between the back panel and fore panel.”

I always wondered if VN’s crack of light was vertical (as in the slit in the door that separated his little boy’s room and Mademoiselle’s) or horizontal (like early dawn).
In “Ada” the reference to this fissure describes a “chasm” that separates metaphysical time into two dark panels (cf. item c.) but a comparison is problematic: VN’s “brief crack of light” separates two abysses, but Van Veen’s light shines out from one abyss that is bracketed by two ( theatrical or “real life”?) panels
And, accepting that “metaphysical time” is unrelated to space, conceiving this “crack” as being vertical or horizontal makes no cosmic difference.

Still trying to fit in bits and pieces, I mean Demon’s and Marina’s first encounter where he is part of the audience while she represents the false reality reproduced in the stage, I came to another line by Van (Part 4):

(d)In "real" life we are creatures of chance in an absolute void — unless we be artists ourselves, naturally; but in a good play I feel authored, I feel passed by the board of censors, I feel secure, with only a breathing blackness before me (instead of our Fourth-Wall Time), I feel cuddled in the embrace of puzzled Will (he thought I was you) or in that of the much more normal Anton Pavlovich, who was always passionately fond of long dark hair.’ ”

In my interpretation, Van is describing how it befalls the artist in ourselves to save us from an emotional chaos, by the production of patterned works of art that connect his sensorial apprehension of the world to the rationally unsolvable mysteries of life and death. He is distinguishing, also, the patterns discerned by “poets” and those that are catalogued by the scientists and, most certainly, ignoring the religious dogmas that explain the universe, following Henri Bergson’s proposals. I had isolated this quote because of its reference to the theatrical world and Demon’s “missed heart beat” that witnessed the transition that made Marina pass from the stage into the fictional reality outside of the events in the play and away from its metamorphic actors.

Just for the sake of arriving at a partial “closure”, another related quote:

             That’s Dr. Sutton’s light. That’s the Great Bear.

                                           120   A thousand years ago five minutes were

                                                  Equal to forty ounces of fine sand.

                                                  Outstare the stars. Infinite foretime and

                                                  Infinite aftertime: above your head

                                                  They close like giant wings, and you are dead.

( I let Dr.Sutton’s light remain in the quote related to “death,” from Canto I, because the same shall reappear in Shade’s last verses,985/86, in Canto Four where it is connected to a somewhat imprecise utilitarian time-count, unlike the metaphysical one from verses 120/1) .

                                                  But it’s not bedtime yet. The sun attains

                                                  Old Dr. Sutton’s last two windowpanes. 

                                                 The man must be — what? Eighty? Eighty-two?

                                                  Was twice my age the year I married you.

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