NABOKV-L post 0018097, Sun, 29 Mar 2009 23:36:47 -0400

QUERY: S. Alexander in Ada
Dear list,

Has anyone previously noted Samuel Alexander's *Space, time, and deity: the
Gifford Lectures at Glasgow: 1916-1918* in relation to *Ada*? The text does
in fact contain the "hours to a fly" quote attributed to S. Alexander on pp.
542-3 of *Ada*. Here is the line from Alexander:

*Neither the poet nor the philosopher means merely that what is years to us
is a moment to God, in the same way as a moment
to a man may be hours to a fly with his microscopic measures of duration.*

Alexander was a fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, and taught at the
University of Manchester. His Lectures were published in book form in
England in 1920. He was strongly influenced by Henri Bergson (also
referenced in *Ada*).

There are a great many thematic parallels between the "Texture of Time" in *
Ada* and Alexander's work, though Van seems to draw distinctions between his
ideas and Alexander's. Here is a sample passage from Alexander on

*But the repetition of a point at many instants, its recurrence, secures to
the point this capacity ; or if the more demonstrative form
of words be preferred, in order that Time should linger Space must recur, a
point must be repeated in more than one instant. *
In his approach to time and space, Alexander, too, addresses Bergson's work,
as well as Einstein's.

I know Leona Toker has already considered Bergson and Nabokov. Does anyone
know of scholarship regarding Alexander in *Ada?*
Thanks much,


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