NABOKV-L post 0019237, Mon, 25 Jan 2010 18:48:06 -0200

Fw: [NABOKV-L] [Fwd: Re:PF and Parody--response to JF]
Matt Roth [to J.Friedman] "You asked whether or not VN's parodies ever employ "bad writing" in something the length of "PF." I say yes...and no. You could argue that Despair is a whole novel of "bad writing." ...we could say that the book as a whole is a parody of the solipsistic artist, or the artist who can't tell art from life, as some have put it..."

JM: The ellaboration about the artist "who can't tell art from life" was magisterially developped by Page Stegner, in his introduction to "The Portable Nabokov."
The way M.R. referred to the "solipsistic artist" in Hermann and Kinbote, made me think of Nabokov's own penchant for self-parody.
I wonder if HH, Hermann or CK would represent a kind of "meta-solipsism," and if this procedure, in turn, was not employed by VN, among others, to parody the "stream of consciousness," in the spirit of William James' own considerations ( "stream of consciousness" as distinct from introspection).
The reference to Dryden, in EO, is on 3/page 149: "The play of inner assonances that is so striking in EO and another poems by Pushkin occurs, not infrequently, in English verse. One remembers Dryden's beautifully counterpointed lines (in his imitation, 1692, of Juvenal, Satires, VI) in which the confusion of intoxication is rendered by words echoing and mimicking each other (ll.422-23;my italics):

When vapours to their swimming brains advance,
And double tapers on the table dance.

"Table" combines the first syllable of "tapers" and the second of "double"; "vapours" rhymes with "tapers"; and the initial consonants of these two words are repeteated in the terminal rhyme, "advance-dance."

These comments amply illustrate Nabokov's finely-tuned ear for "plexed artistry." Equally it shows that Nabokov did not only maintain "strong opinions" against bad poets, as if trying to oust them from the mainstream "artistic survival" in a most darwinistic negative way. He could equally high-light qualities in poets he often didn't fully appreciate.

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