NABOKV-L post 0017674, Mon, 9 Feb 2009 07:12:40 -0200

Re: [NABOKOVL] [Idle conjectures] Werewolves,
Vsleslav and...paradises
Perhaps I should not have compared VN's words, in an interview, to his character's behavior, when I observed that the latter are sexually promiscuous, but remain faithful to an original fictional-partner. Worse mistake: I used this example to relate VN's passion for butterflies and literature to sexuality and to love... A year ago (Thu, 25 Jan 2007) Jerry Friedman wrote: "In trying to think about whether we're simply talking about the body dying and the spirit living, I'm confused between "I am an indivisible monist" and the overtly dualistic dscriptions of Cincinnatus in /Invitation to a Beheading/.Maybe Shade is both Icarus and Daedalus. I'm pretty sure, tough, that Kinbote (whose favorite method of suicide is falling) ends up as ashen fluff."
Once again we see VN's own words set in contrast to his character's, although these sometimes repeat their creator's opinions. For example, when Van writes: "The mind of man, by nature a monist, cannot accept two nothings; he knows there has been one nothing, his biological inexistence in the infinite past[...] But a second nothingness [...] is logically unacceptable.")

Here is another example of VN's testimony of his passion for literature ( his ecstatic response to butterflies is somewhere in SO):
"We ought to remain a little aloof and take pleasure in this aloofness while at the same time we keenly enjoy -- passionately enjoy, enjoy with tears and shivers -- the inner weave of a given masterpiece."
And yet, concerning spiritual and physical love, I can only cite passionately monistic Sebastian Knight (quoted by V.!):
'Physical love is but another way of saying the same thing and not a special sexophone note, which once heard is echoed in every other region of the soul,' (Lost Property, page 82,) 'All things belong to the same order of things, for such is the oneness of human perception, the oneness of individuality, the oneness of matter, whatever matter may be, The only real number is one, the rest are mere repetition,' (ibid, page 83.) "
and, again, 'One may have a thousand friends, but only one love-mate. Harems have nothing to do with this matter: I am speaking of dance, not gymnastics.[...] For if I say "two" I have started to count and there is no end to it. There is only one real number: One. And love, apparently, is the best exponent of this singularity."
Perhaps paradise, love and ecstatic experiences are unrelated?

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