NABOKV-L post 0017139, Thu, 2 Oct 2008 18:21:28 -0300

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Re: THOUGHTS: Similar image in Bend Sinister and Nadja
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Rachel Meibos:An image from the first chapter of Nabokov’s Bend Sinister and one from a footnote at the end of Breton’s Nadja (1947) bear an unlikely similarity: both describe a painter who fails to paint a sunset because the scenery changes faster than the painter can paint. From Bend Sinister: “ the sunset had gone, leaving only a clutter of the purplish remnants of the day, piled up anyhow – ruins, junk” Perhaps this is coincidental - I have no way of knowing if V. Nabokov ever read Nadja – but perhaps Nabokov was paying a subtle homage to another modernist.

JM: One more example of "remnants of the day" in VN, related in this case to a painter's desire to fix, and bring order!, to impermanence - to the constant shifts of light and color.
R.Meibos added another perspective to the "fugal theme" in Glory by reminding us of "fugitive", transient, phenomena experienced as "piled up anyhow - ruins, junk". Didn't VN mention Heraclitus somewhere in Bend Sinister?

I was also reminded of Pale Fire's lines 849-852: The pen stops in mid-air, then swoops to bar/ A canceled sunset or restore a star,/ And thus it physically guides the phrase/ Toward faint daylight through the inky maze. Shade fears "gradual decay" and, for Kinbote, a sunset glow may signal "the ashes of dusk" or a zemblan "palette with the dregs of many sunsets". There may be others in Pnin, when young Victor's modernist visions are detailed.

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