NABOKV-L post 0018158, Fri, 10 Apr 2009 09:53:44 -0300

Re: THOUGHTS: Sally Beauchamp
Sergei Soloviev (to J.F and M.Roth):- the story of Sally Beauchamp is very much influenced by the "atmosphere" of the end of 19 century: mediums, belief in ghosts
etc., psychiatry/psychology being emerging sciences with doubtful criteria (what can we say about these sciences now?)[...] the use of hypnosis and its acceptability as a proof was criticized later (even) by Freud;[...] the story [...]hints of this credulity and "desire to believe" (with respect to split personality) as some stories about ghosts and supernatural;[...]- I think the wonderful find of Matt confirms rather my own (meta)theory that VN very carefully set traps for future university researchers [...] in order to provide them half-convincing (but never definitive) proofs for their own theories... He probably knew and even planned which theories will emerge.
JM: Freud didn't reject hypnosis, nor the importance of suggestion. He recognized, though, that as a therapeutic tool its effects were transient and unfair by sidestepping the patient's "self".
Idealization, together with denigration, happens all the time.

A.S:Graden (German for 'degrees' in Dative plural) = garden
Vinograd (Russian for 'grape') = vino (Russian for 'wine') + grad (German for 'degree'; Russian for 'hail'; Russian archaic for 'city'; cf. Leningrad[us])
JM: It is interesting to note that, when choosing Gradus, VN emphasized "Degree" (Jakob Gradus = Jack Degree) while, at the same time, he graduated his disagreeable automaton's steps to move gradually but stealthily forwards, even after the "real" murderer lay dead in his cell.

I doubt that VN kept in mind the Latin "gradum" to plan the emergence of diverging theories concerning Gradus.
In my sentence above, on how VN "graduated his disagreeable...," I employed five different meanings related to Gradus, to which we can add "degree".
The only important indication, in my eyes, lies in its "inexorable advance."

Search archive with Google:

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

Manage subscription options: