Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chris has posted a blog entry on the poem Ulalume, by Edgar Allen Poe, which he persuasively argues is to Pale Fire what Annabel Lee is to Lolita. I'll have to read it now.

There was also an interesting discussion of the Latin phrase et in arcadia ego(even in Arcadia am I), which goes with a couple of paintings with Classical figures in a pastoral landscape standing around a grave with Death among them. So, even in world's of fantasy and beauty, death still is present. This is certainly something that N. was aware of, and he wrote his novels with this in mind. It certainly is the case with Pale Fire, where death is a constant threat in Zembla, in the personification of Gradus. Or Jack Grey, as he is known in the "real world".

Jared also noted something interesting; in the commentary, pg. 136 I think, Kinbote talks about the Thuleians and their dealings with the Zemblan king; apparently "Thule" is an antiquated name for an island made up by a crazy person(!). It's also what they would put on maps passed the point of the "known world". Very funny. And as N. once pointed out, the only difference between comic and cosmic is an s. So within the comic, it is possible for us to find that which is of cosmic importance.

And we than had a great impromptu presentation on The Vane Sisters, and the ultimate ghostly acroustic revelation: ICICLES BY CYNTHIA METER FROM ME SYBIL. Leave it to N.

And we have been given the assignment to artistically depict John Shade, given the knowlede that he resembles four people: Samuel Johnson, Judge Goldsworth, the recreation of early man(ie. Neanderthal) in the Extor museum, and the hag who dishes out potatoes in the cafeteria.

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