NABOKV-L post 0018252, Mon, 27 Apr 2009 13:59:37 -0300

Re: THOUGHTS: Roth/DeRewal article in NOJ
Alexey Sklyarenko: I read with great interest Matt Roth & Tiffany DeRewal's article in NOJ [...] I have permitted myself to point out a few minor errors that don't undermine the authors' theory and that could have been easily avoided [...] These comments will do for now.
JM: Marvellous contribution, Alexey and basic clarifications. Although I'm still doubtful of Hazel's falterings as a Red Vanessa, there is a corroboration in what you wrote to Matt and T.D: "Adam Falter, a character in Ultima Thule, is a medium, like Hazel Shade in Pale Fire. There are many more parallels," when we consider that "Falter" means "butterfly" in German.

Fran Assa:Here's a wonderful birthday treat: http://www.d-e-
JM: Linking to Zimmer's birthday homage and A.S's parallel ( A.Falter and Hazel Shade), I selected D.Z's last paragraph on VN's "arcane riddles and reality." (equally demonstrated by V.Fet's article in The Nabokovian about scientific labels):
"In recent years,critics have tended to laud Nabokov as a metaphysical seeker, a composer of arcane riddles, a postmodern juggler of erudite associations. However true that may be, the "realistic" side to his art deserves not be overlooked. He himself did not like the words "reality" and "realistic"[...] Perhaps that has dissuaded critics from noticing how much "average reality" he had to assemble in order to make his invented miniature worlds credible, how much robust reality he had to study to make his choices of telling detail. His geography is a case in point. F or a change, it may pay to look for his "sources" not in remote literature but in the real world. Whenever one encounters some weird place in his fiction it is safer to assume it has some basis in reality than to take it as a fact that everything is imaginary. In those of his novels and stories he himself called "realistic-pychological," that is in all except Invitation to a Beheading, Bend Sinister and three of his four last novels, just about all of the seemingly imaginary places have some counterpart on the map. You bet they do."

B.Wyllie[Could anyone help me locate these two quotations? "an unwarranted leap into the empyrean";"a blue-tinted or rose-shaded photograph taken by a stranger"¨]: "a blue-tinted or rose-shaded photograph taken by a stranger" Strong Opinions, p. 186
JM: Copying from SO, after Wyllie's localization:
"The act of retention is the act of art, artistic selection, artistic blending, artistic re-combination of actual events. The bad memoirist re-touches his past, and the result is a blue-tinted or pink-shaded photograph taken by a stranger to console sentimental bereavement. The good memoirist, on the other hand, does his best to preserve the utmost truth of the detail. One of the ways he achieves his intent is to find the right spot on his canvas for placing the right patch of remembered color."

On the same theme, I'll add Boyd's lines, in his preface to J.Holabird's book (VN Alphabet in Color), about Véra Nabokov's objection to the opinion that "VN's metaphors to specify the exact colors he associated with each letter of the alphabet...were a concession to literature," when she insisted that Nabokov "considers his prose scientific and would have used the same metaphors in a scientific article."

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