Annotations by Alexey Sklyarenko

Description

Please read Alexey Sklyarenko's annotations on Pale FireAda and other Nabokov works here.

L'EX-ROI DE ZEMBLA in Pale Fire Alexey Sklyarenko Fri, 05/14/2021 - 02:46

Describing an extraordinary session of the Extremist government, Kinbote (in VN’s novel Pale Fire, 1962, Shade’s mad commentator who imagines that he is Charles the Beloved, the last self-exiled king of Zembla) mentions a copy of a French newspaper with the headline: L'EX-ROI DE ZEMBLA EST-IL À PARIS?:

 

Vinogradus & Roman Tselovalnikov in Pale Fire Alexey Sklyarenko Thu, 05/13/2021 - 08:52

According to Kinbote (in VN’s novel Pale Fire, 1962, Shade’s mad commentator who imagines that he is Charles the Beloved, the last self-exiled king of Zembla), Gradus (Shade’s murderer) contended that the real origin of his name should be sought in the Russian word for grape, vinograd, to which a Latin suffix had adhered, making it Vinogradus:

 

Jakob Gradus & the Shadows in Pale Fire Alexey Sklyarenko Wed, 05/12/2021 - 08:46

In Memory of Hafid Bouazza

 

Shade’s murderer, Jakob Gradus (one of the three main characters in VN’s novel Pale Fire, 1962) is a member of the Shadows (a regicidal organization):

 

didactic katydid & low hum of harmony in Pale Fire Alexey Sklyarenko Mon, 05/10/2021 - 16:07

In Canto Two of his poem John Shade (the poet in VN’s novel Pale Fire, 1962) says that his daughter called her mother "a didactic katydid:"

 

                         She twisted words: pot, top

Spider, redips. And "powder" was "red wop."

She called you a didactic katydid.

She hardly ever smiled, and when she did,

Tessera Square & password Pity in Pale Fire Alexey Sklyarenko Sun, 05/09/2021 - 18:23

Describing Shade’s murder by Gradus, Kinbote (in VN’s novel Pale Fire, 1962, Shade’s mad commentator who imagines that he is Charles the Beloved, the last self-exiled king of Zembla) compares himself to a stone king on a stone charger in the Tessera Square of Onhava (the capital of Zembla):

 

Eros qui prend son essor in Ada Alexey Sklyarenko Fri, 05/07/2021 - 08:47

Describing his nights at Ardis, Van Veen (the narrator and main character in VN’s novel Ada, 1969) says that his only contribution to Anglo-American poetry is a dactylic trimeter ‘Ada, our ardors and arbors:’

 

ryuen' & Velvet Veen in Ada; merman azure, crined or in Pale Fire Alexey Sklyarenko Thu, 05/06/2021 - 20:00

According to Van Veen (the narrator and main character in VN’s novel Ada, 1969), all the hundred floramors (palatial brothels built by David van Veen, a wealthy architect of Flemish extraction, all over the world in memory of his grandson Eric) opened simultaneously on September 20, 1875:

 

sampel in Pale Fire Alexey Sklyarenko Thu, 05/06/2021 - 09:35

At the beginning of his poem John Shade (the poet in VN’s novel Pale Fire, 1962) compares himself to the shadow of the waxwing:

 

I was the shadow of the waxwing slain

By the false azure in the windowpane;

I was the smudge of ashen fluff - and I

Lived on, flew on, in the reflected sky. (ll. 1-4)

 

document in madness & herb of repentance in Ada Alexey Sklyarenko Tue, 05/04/2021 - 10:04

In VN’s novel Ada (1969) Ada compares her letter to Van to a document in madness or the herb of repentance:

 

shape & shade in Pale Fire Alexey Sklyarenko Mon, 05/03/2021 - 11:02

At the beginning of his Commentary Kinbote (in VN’s novel Pale Fire, 1962, Shade’s mad commentator who imagines that he is Charles the Beloved, the last self-exiled king of Zembla) mentions a crested bird called in Zemblan sampel ("silktail"), closely resembling a waxwing in shape and shade: