NABOKV-L post 0018133, Fri, 3 Apr 2009 15:31:52 -0300

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Fw: [NABOKV-L][LINKS ON LINE] Nabokov’s u npublished college lecture
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Sandy Klein posts Steve Coates (NYT) "Does there not exist a high ridge where the mountainside of “scientific” knowledge joins the opposite slope of “artistic” imagination?": Nabokov’s fiction is always becoming propaganda on behalf of good noticing, hence on behalf of itself.”..."Nabokov himself, in his impish interview mode, teased those who would question him...I love the following passage from some of Professor Nabokov’s unpublished college lecture notes... The passage isn’t as widely known as it should be, though it appears Brian Boyd’s two-part biography:“Whichever subject you have chosen, you must realize that knowledge in it is limitless [...]

JM: In Strong Opinions, interview n.2 (1962) Nabokov develops this idea about specialization and observation: "Reality is a very subjective affair. I can only define it as a kind of gradual accumulation of information; and as specialization. If we take a lily, for instance, or any other kind of natural object, a lily is more real to a naturalist than it is to an ordinary person. But it is still more real to a botanist... You can know more and more about one thing but you can never know everything about one thing... we live surrounded by more or less ghostly objects..."
It would be fun to locate where VN speaks about "consciousness is the backbone of the strong" ( I quote from memory) and about the fundamental importance of "imagination" (there's something related to that in ADA 4). These items are connected to "specialization and ghostly objects."

btw: I was not criticizing SK-B in my former posting, but developing a point he raised. I realized too late that one of his sentences was left unquoted.
Here it is: Yes, Nabokov is playfully weaving verbal “conceits” with no serious claim that strangers are dangerous because of a few shared syllables. Yet one must remain alert against endowing words and sounds with fanciful metalinguistic and a-historical “baggage.”

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