JMWhile sorting out my small treasures from The Gift I remembered a scene which I was unable to find as it was not underlined in my old copy [ ] Pattern of Elysian hues! Once in Ordos my father, climbing a hill after a storm, inadvertently entered the base of a rainbow the rarest occurrence! and found himself in colored air, in a play of light as if in paradise. He took one more step and left paradise. [ ]

Sergei Sakun: This scene from The Gift recalls the following passage from

Thoreau, Henry David, 


Baker Farm

Once it chanced that I stood in the very abutment of a rainbow's arch, which filled the lower stratum of the atmosphere, tinging the grass and leaves around, and dazzling me as if I looked through colored crystal. It was a lake of rainbow light, in which, for a short while, I lived like a dolphin. If it had lasted longer it might have tinged my employments and life. As I walked on the railroad causeway, I used to wonder at the halo of light around my shadow, and would fain fancy myself one of the elect. One who visited me declared that the shadows of some Irishmen before him had no halo about them, that it was only natives that were so distinguished. Benvenuto Cellini tells us in his memoirs, that, after a certain terrible dream or vision which he had during his confinement in the castle of St. Angelo a resplendent light appeared over the shadow of his head at morning and evening, whether he was in Italy or France, and it was particularly conspicuous when the grass was moist with dew. This was probably the same phenomenon to which I have referred, which is especially observed in the morning, but also at other times, and even by moonlight. Though a constant one, it is not commonly noticed, and, in the case of an excitable imagination like Cellini's, it would be basis enough for superstition. Beside, he tells us that he showed it to very few. But are they not indeed distinguished who are conscious that they are regarded at all?

This passage also refers to Nabokovs iridule in Pale Fire

that rare phenomenon 
The iridule - when beautiful and strange, 
110 In a bright sky above a mountain range 
One opal cloudlet in an oval form 
Reflects the rainbow of a thunderstorm 
Which in a distant valley has been staged- 
For we are most artistically caged.

It was mentioned already about Thoreau in the V. Nabokovs book NIKOLAI GOGOL (Ch. 4), p. 136.

A sympathetically pictured priest in the midst of the Gogolian characters of the first volume [of DEAD SOULS] would have been as utterly impossible as a gauloiserie in Pascal or a quotation from Thoreau in Stalins latest speech. NIKOLAI GOGOL (Ch. 4), p. 136.;34128772.0601

It coincidence. About it I was already wrote in the last month in my Live Journal.


Best regards,

Sergei Sakun                  


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