NABOKV-L post 0019106, Sat, 16 Jan 2010 12:30:04 -0200

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Wer ist Iris? Back to larvae and lemuria.
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Re: [NABOKV-L] Wer ist Iris?Carolyn Kunin: Please don't forget the original Iris Acht - - an unfortunate actress who dies young in a wild novel, the victim of a gray villain.
Stan Kelly-Bootle: ...I continue to believe that, in spite of the fun in tracing the sources of VN's every phrase, his wordplay is very much incidental to his genius for capturing truth and beauty in atmosphere, character and plot...

JM: Yes! Nabokov's "genius for capturing truth and beauty in atmosphere, character and plot," invites us to remember the unfortunate actress Iris and, while tracing its sources, catch a whiff of a well-read poliglot's atmosphere.
I'm still flabbergasted by the realization concerning old scientists who were discovering and discerning differences between a wide range of animals and plants, like Linnaeus. How they linked the old in the new with the new in the old when finding names and labels for them. Coinages applied to living organisms, garanteed by body and world while these were independent of the power of "words."
It seems that only the evil masks stuck (larvae &lemurian) not the neutral (manes) or the good (lares), though and we can surmise from the quotes below that VN was aware of both designations and their eerie suggestive powers, he later linked to evolution and time.


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From my former posting to the List (August 18,2008) to a still older one (April 29,2003) by Carolyn Kunin, on Lemures in VN we find:
JM: "Returning to destroyed or sunken places, to Kitezh, Atlantis and Lemuria (after bringing up a reference by ninety-eyar old Van to Ada's eyes and the image of misplaced "lemurian" eyeballs in a taxi), I came to another one, equally non-geographical (lemurs and insects):
Vladimir Nabokov, Speak Memory:
" the soaking , ice-cold absorbent cotton pressed to the insect's lemurian head; the subsiding spasms of its bodies..."
C.Kunin: "Thus Fulmerford is an anagram of either Dr Lemuroff (or Muleroff or Rulemoff) or Mr Leduroff (or Duleroff or Elduroff), all seeminly nonsensical names. However Lemuroff could be derived from the small mammal the lemur. The interesting thing about that is that from lemur was derived an Atlantis counterpart in the Pacific Ocean called Lemuria. The original idea of Lemuria was posited by a supporter of Darwin's theories (the German Ernst Heinrich Haeckel) and was later appropriated by the Theosophists. Madame Blavatsky had some very strange ideas about Lemurians that might have appealed to Nabokov. There may be a link to those lemans in Ada, but I don't know. "
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