One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Pale Fire": Line 1000 = Line 1: I was the shadow of the waxwing slain

I'm almost at the end (and the end is somewhat coming back to me: Memory says: Now I remember): Gradus (Mr. Gray) has fired and hit Shade instead of Kinbote = Commentator = Zemblan King (once he's recovered, with the help of a good-looking gardener, Kinbote dials 11111).

I think today I'll just highlight a few fantastic phrases (why I keep coming back to Nabokov) I've highlighted via Kindle (great for that and notetaking).

Re the writing process (specifically Shade's):
. . . so that he could plunge back into his chaos and drag out of it, with all its wet stars, his cosmos?
Re history:
Shade: "True, sir. In due time history will have denounced everybody. . . ."
Re Lines 939 - 940: Man's life, etc.:
. . . our poet suggests here that human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece.
Re Gradus and a cup of coffee (he's on his way; he's in the Big Apple):
He had a brimming cup and half a saucerful of coffee at a crowded and wet counter and spent the rest of the smoke-blue morning moving from bench to bench and from paper to paper in the westside alleys of Central Park.
Re Gradus and  his first paper (The New York Times):
His lips moving like wrestling worms, . . .
Re some verbal silliness by Carl Sandburg:
Asked about the Soviet exhibition at the New York Coliseum, Carl Sandburg, a poet, replied, and I quote: "They make their appeal on the highest of intellectual levels."
Re Gradus (aka Jacques d'Argus) and Kinbote's godlike perspective on his day in NYC:
From my rented cloudlet I contemplate him with quiet surprise: here he is, this creature ready to commit a monstrous act--and coarsely enjoying a coarse meal!
Re the miracle of the written word:
We are absurdly accustomed to the miracle of a few written signs being able to contain immortal imagery, involutions of thought, new worlds with live people, speaking, weeping, laughing.

I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
                                                                
Waxwing Pictures, Images and Photos

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