NABOKV-L post 0019109, Sat, 16 Jan 2010 14:35:18 -0200

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[NABOKOV-L] Larvarium, larvorium, Lemures from Lolita onto TOoL
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C. Kunin (2003) "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."

JM: Indeed. The link extends from ADA to TOoL by Van's Texture of Time,Evolution, larval stages & more later, in a posting related to Flora, copulation and primitive art.


The reference in the List to a "larvorium" is correct for Pale Fire judging from Shade's lines " IPH/ was a larvorium and a violet".)
In Ada comes the expected "a" indicated by B.Boyd*: "I'm going to relent and show you the real marvel of Ardis Manor; my larvarium, it's in the room next to mine' (which he never saw, never - how odd, come to think of it!)." Later: "At the end of his so remote, so near, 1884 summer Van, before leaving Ardis, was to make a visit of adieu to Ada's larvarium."
It is worth revisiting the Proustian sex-life of entomology: "A freshly emerged Nymphalis carmen was fanning its lemon and amber-brown wings...the Odettian Sphinx had turned, bless him, into an elephantoid mummy with a comically encased trunk of the guermantoid type"
A link to "Pale Fire" and its Institute named IPH thru this "larvorium" with an "o" ..."my dream is to have a special Institute of Fritillary larvae and violets ... I would have eggs or larvae rushed to me here by plane from allover North America, with their foodplants... a Pale Violet from Montana..., and a rare white violet from a secret marsh near an unnamed lake on an arctic mountain where Krolik's Lesser Fritillary flies."
with its interesting connection bt. larvae, nymphs to "Lolita", thru "Carmen" and pedophile(?) Crawly: "Dr Krolik received from Andalusia and kindly gave me five young larvae of the newly described very local Carmen Tortoiseshell. They are delightful creatures, of a beautiful jade nuance with silvery spikes, and they breed only on a semi-extinct species of high-mountain willow (which dear Crawly also obtained for me)."

There's also a passage through Proust ("Swann" and la Bibliotheque Rose) iterated in "cattleya" (Proust used the euphemism (?) "catleia" to refer to the act of making love...) with an agressively erected hyacinth head of a stiff oedipal Sphinx: (At ten or earlier the child had read - as Van had - Les Malheurs de Swann, as the next sample reveals)...'I think Marina would stop scolding me for my hobby ("There's something indecent about a little girl's keeping such revolting pets...," "Normal young ladies should loathe snakes and worms," et cetera) -- if I could persuade her to overcome her old-fashioned squeamishness and place simultaneously on palm and pulse (the hand alone would not be roomy enough!) the noble larva of the Cattleya Hawkmoth (mauve shades of Monsieur Proust), a seven-inch-long colossus flesh colored, with turquoise arabesques, rearing its hyacinth head in a stiff "Sphinxian" attitude.'


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* B.Boyd: Sorry to be a party-pooper, but we know what Nabokov's preferred English dictionary was..."Larvarium" it defines as "A box or cage for the rearing of insect larvae." Query to Boyd: Is "larvorium", in Shade's poem, a misprint???????

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