NABOKV-L post 0018868, Thu, 26 Nov 2009 23:05:53 -0200

Fw: [NABOKV-L] Gogol & Nabokov
R.Boyle: Is VN's discussion of Gogol burning the second part of Dead Souls before he died in any way relevant to DM's decision to publish TOoL despite his father's wish that it be burned?
(a) Meghan Kiihln: " It is. Here is a relevant quote: ' wonder that the artist, in a last blinding flash of artistic truth, burnt the end of Dead Souls... because he had finally realized that the completed book was untrue to his genius.' Pages 137-138 of Nikolai Gogol.
(b) Dmitri Nabokov: "A perceptive question, but no, there's no connection."

Sandy Klein sends a link to Sam Munson on A pale fire is still a fire ( "Even unfinished fragments of Nabokov's work...possess a distinct moving brilliance.") and to Spectator's Philip Hensher A lost masterpiece? ("These long anticipated literary mysteries never end in anything very significant...")

JM: Thanks to Robert Boyle for the relevant question and, to Meghan Kiihln, for the relevant quote - but DN sees no connection and Munson's title is equally mysterious (unless Nabokov is both his sun and moon, while their brilliance emits no heat).

Julian Connoly (on a sentence with an erasured word, in TOoL):"The entire phrase displays an iambic rhythm: "he SAW her [LYRic] BACK, her HIP beTWEEN his HANDS." One wonders what adjective VN might eventually have come up with to replace "lyric." Presumably it would have the same metrical rhythm."
JM: Playboy captured one-half of TOoL in a nutshell: The Original of Laura ( or Dying is Fun ) introduces "another of Nabokov's mystifying and mythic heroines, Flora, the subject of a novel within a novel." If Flora's "exquisite bone structure immediately slipped into a novel - became in fact the secret structure of a novel..." in actuality, would the elegant feet (and Flora's fingers?) help us to discover the antecipated "secret structure" of the novel? Would this example of iambic rhythm be an accident, the missing adjective independent of the expected rythm?

btw: Playboy's so-called "companion piece" to the posthumous fragments with a photographic essay, by Richard Kern, of crossover actor Sasha Grey posing as "Lolita", may appeal to those who merely enjoy a lasting playboyhood... but the photographer might have envisaged older Flora for his nymphic model (inspite of Flora's cameo nates and belying belly), never never Lolita!

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