NABOKV-L post 0018033, Mon, 23 Mar 2009 18:51:30 -0300

Re: [NABOKOV-L] Ada and Bras d'Or]
Stan K-B: If we extend to ADA Carolyn K's Pale Fire links to 1950s movies, Bras d'Or would point to Otto Preminger's 1955 classic "The Man with the
Golden Arm."The idiom here, of course, is less glamorous than Jansy's tempting Cognac label, but offers Alexey the wider field of narcotics for
sniffing out* allusion-truffles! Alexey & VN would be good at CODEWORD, a cryptographic form of Crossword [...] NB: my tutor at Warwick was
Max Newman who was Turing's Boss at Bletchl[e]y (ENIGMA decoding centre)
A. Sklyarenko (to Stan) My name is not Sergey, and what you write is sheer nonsense...
C. Kunin ( to Jansy and SK-B: "prends garde à toi"): It may be what Google says, but it is incorrect --- should be "prends garde de toi" --- I don't have a copy of the libretto at home but I will try to get to one soon.

JM: Not just the label, Stan! What's inside the bottle is what counts. Not merely the sound, the code, the pun.We may find even room for mistakes. And chidings. (Anyway, I hope Carolyn will see the light.) You may dislike Hofstadter's style and all, but it was thanks to him I learned about Turing and the disastrous affair concerning Brit morality and his homosexuality. What intrigued me most was D.H's description of Turing's bafflement with unexpected voids that he came across during his fluent mathematical calculations. Not at all like the Beatles' solution through discovering that: "I've got a hole in me pocket" and no faulty reasoning: he encountered "real" voids!*

Meghan Kiihnl: Ah, those "fancy embraces" were oral sex. The "leaping epilepsy" is ejaculation, and oral sex can't be obtained by force, exactly. I only noticed this on my fourth or fifth reading [...], but only a careful reader will find it to be very dirty, while the others will be intimidated by the fancy prose style, just as Nabokov intended them to be.

JM: A careful reader will enjoy the ploys, the deviations, the sudden vision that comes side by side with the "smutty intentions." Many such descriptions, after they are "apprehended", reveal a kind of cruelly sleazy childish malice. As it is to be expected from our solipsistic Humbert, as immature as any pedophile, and who needs to flaunt his "manhood"while he engages in a verborragic re-experiencing of crude sex exhibited to the reader ( or to the winged members of the Jury).
Nabokov's creation of HH, as a type, is true to the letter - and as clever (and old) as mankind.

* Speaking of "voids", I once read that "obscene" means "excluded from the scene", a kind of unspeakable blinding, or a terrifying absence that is provoked by an excess of "seeing".

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors:,
Visit Zembla:
View Nabokv-L policies:
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:"

Manage subscription options: