NABOKV-L post 0017939, Sun, 15 Mar 2009 01:15:26 -0300

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Re: [NABOKOV-L] [HEREAFTER-THOUGHTS]
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CK: 1. As usual, our dear JM has left out a bit of connective tissue that keeps her reference to "la Golconda" from being the complete non-sequiter it appears to be[...] I saw quite clearly that the hatted "raining" men are NOT caring umbrellas; 2.Of course if playing with your Pale Fire is what you enjoy, you can certainly do it endlessly[...]I am not much looking forward to an after-life either, but I am hoping against hope to go out in one final blaze of glory;3. (to SKB) You, Jansy and your ilk are still fooling around with...But since Jansy does not care if she ever gets there, and probably neither do you, I really had better find a more promising way of passing the time!

JM: 1.The raining men are "NOT caring umbrellas (sic)"? I hadn't realized that at the time, I must have been fooled by one or two shadows. Thanks for setting the List-record straight.

2 and 3: Perhaps there are others who, like me, don't care about reaching a pre-determined goal through Pale Fire, while they still consider VN's novels much more than a promising pastime: For me they are no pastime, but a present-time delight, or, like TT's narrator wrote ( while stressing the importance of memory and consciousness) : "Perhaps if the future existed, concretely and individually, as something that could be discerned by a better brain, the past would not be so seductive [...] But the future has no such reality (as the pictured past and the perceived present possess); the future is but a figure of speech, a specter of thought."


Truman Capote was one of the script-writers of a Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw" adaptation to the movies, in "The Innocents". Although VN disliked William James' brother, he conceded that he sometimes enjoyed "his turn of a phrase" ( I'm quoting SO from memory). Unlike the original, "The Innocents" follows a clear psychological bias by emphasizing the hysteric traits and the pedophilic impulses found in the children's governess. Its marvellous b&w photography and scenic effects, plus an effective story-telling, managed to keep intact the suspense, inspite of this specific short-coming. I couldn't help wondering how Kinbote would be represented - should there be a Pale Fire movie version according to the J&H hypothesis. In my opinion VN deliberately planted unsolvable problems and imprecisions to offer, not only one but, an indefinite number of possibilities which I consider as far more important to explore than a single definite solution to a puzzle. Nevertheless, a clever J&H version might be as fascinating to see as the growing unreality achieved by Deborah Kerr in the role of a crazy spinster.

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