NABOKV-L post 0017662, Thu, 5 Feb 2009 20:44:53 -0200

Anthologies, sf sighting, new version of timeline
Stan Kelly -Bootle: [The two (Oxford) Anthologies of "Humour" and of "XXth Century Poets" I consulted carry no Nabokov [...] Where could I find out about which anthologies in English included VN among American, English-speaking, novelists or the Russian poets and authors?] "...I can report that he flourishes in most of the FAMOUS QUOTATIONS collections I've come across. One of the collections (Oxford Univ. Press, I think) was devoted specifically to Lit & Lang aphorisms (or "pithy sayings," he lisped!). Dozens of Nabokovian quips, which one has the feeling were deliberately polished with such collections in mind.

JM: My access to specialized libraries is limited, as you know, so your ellucidation helped to balance my overall impression. For ex, The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1979), under V. Nabokov, quotes: "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins." Not very inspiring!

Jerry Friedman [idem] You can find some anthologies that included works VN's work by searching Google Books, Amazon, etc., for terms
such as "Nabokov anthology". The list won't be complete,though. I think you'll find that his prose has been anthologized more often than his poetry in English [.. ]the Internet Speculative Fiction Database does list three stories that have appeared in sf or sf-ish anthologies .
Since you were so kind as to mention my PF timeline, I'll say that Jeff Edmunds just put the revised version on Zembla.

JM: There are plays on names: Albina Dunkelberg, Rosetta Stone, the mirthful Austrian Bodo von Falternfels. I'm sure this trend has been sufficiently explored, together with the two inverted pairs of Starr/Stern ( Christopher and Louise Starr and Louis and Christina Stern), and the mysterious Russian Narrator. I haven't yet found out how they make their way into PF, but Pnin's (now darker) presence might indicate some other subreptitious reappearances of set "types." Dates might offer a clue.

In an off-list response to my query on PNIN and time-lines I was directed, among other interesting leads, to "A Resolved Discord (Pnin)" by Gennady
Barabtarlo at". It's curious that Pnin is described By GB as: "attractive because in that trio of
consecutive foreign academics, three pointedly foreign bodies in America, he is the only sane and compassionate man flanked by self-absorbed and
perverted madmen.". He is a dear, our Prof.Pnin,... but he is a nut-case all the same, no?

According to Barabtarlo, "Time management is [...] marked by [...]for instance, the extreme compression of time as the novels unwinds (the first three chapters span almost two-and-a-half years, the next four less than a year), ingenious flashbacks and timeslides in every chapter, and chronological duplexity created by a deliberate confusion of calendar styles, nowhere to a stronger effect than in Chapter Three, where "Pnin's Day" (his birthday, February 15, ignored by Pnin because of the academic routine and calendar mix-up) may be in fact the day of Pushkin's death (February 10), so that Pnin's premonition of death, mingled with Pushkin's melancholy verse, colors and even shapes the chapter as its dominant theme[...] Only very early and shallow critics thought Pnin to be little else than a book of stories about a quaint character, loosely strung together by progressive chronology." I tried to go on with my calculations, now more confident about my clues. So...after Pnin leaves the Clemenses, and lodges with Sheppard, the year must have been 1954. When our absent-minded professor and Victor finaly meet (ch.4,part 2) the fourteen year-old boy is much taller than Pnin and, perhaps, wiser. Although he looks two or three years older than his age, N. thinks that Victor doesn't love anybody. Unlike Pnin.

I wanted to locate a cartoon VN described ( a cat dreaming about a fish, a shipwreck dreaming about a woman and all they got in the lonely island is a mermaid: 1952?). I'm certain I once saw it in print. There is an allusion to a Magritte painting which should not be missed, in my view, for it is similar in spirit. Victor is fond of Monet and he has an artist's eye for color and shape ( In ch.4 the Narrator sounds superficially Updikeish). Why not include Magritte? I have in mind "Le Chant d'Amour" (1948) its mermaid displaying human legs and a fish-head: a silent woman?

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