NABOKV-L post 0017958, Mon, 16 Mar 2009 09:42:53 -0300

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Re: Magritte and Pale Fire
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R S Gwynn: This Magritte, known as "Not to Be Reproduced," has always struck me as very Nabokovian. Surely VN knew Magritte's work. Does anyone have a direct link between the two?
JM: Yes, I do. VN's novels and Magritte's paintings. Any other links would be indirect?

J. Aisenberg: ...Hegel's Holiday. It led me to read Hegel and I was never really sure exactly what the joke meant. Is it a dialectical gag? Thesis: rain. Antithesis unmbrella. Synthesis: pesron under protected by rain. Only here the glass seems to be protecting the water from the rain. A holiday from Hegelian reasoning?
JM: Nice! You focused on the umbrella I'd hallucinated in the Golconda painting. There are lots of things that can be said for a holiday from Hegelian reasoning: that water can never get any wetter? Not to build a tempest inside a cup of tea (in Portuguese the saying goes: in a glass of water, perhaps its the same in French)

To SKB & CK: a correction! I'm no good with Spanish or Italian. When I posted the substitution for the last paragraph on this theme, it was to late to have it corrected. The new lines for C.K's and SK-B's picadillo I have: picadilly, armadillo, picadero (riding-school, lover's nest), picador (the guy that spits the bull). The "tiny sin" as "picadillo" relates to SK-B's Greek "pic."as a portmanteau-word. It seems that "tiny" or "little" is already indicated in the end of "pecadillo".


James Twiggs: "Puzzles," as Gertrude Stein famously remarked, "are not literature." I may have butchered the quote, but you get the point. And your response might well be, "They are when they're written by Nabokov." We could go round and round on this for a few years longer [...] And so it goes, round and round. It's not just the evidence that's in question but also the very nature of the evidence--and what the hell counts as evidence any damn how? We are never going to agree on any of this, are we? Is this our fault? Is it the book's? Is it even a fault? (Jansy, Matt, and Stan--to name only three of our regulars--would, I take it, join me in saying no to all three questions .) Assuming the word "schreib" isn't an insult of some kind, I'm grateful for Piers Smith's fast and funny response. It points up the idea that, at least in some general metaphorical sense, Shade and Kinbote are, indeed, one and the same.
JM: Your reasoned posting was a delight to read. May I disagree? Were there three or four questions? And, indeed, I'd say "No" to all. I was intrigued not with "schreib" ( related to writing) but with "zimmer frames" in Piers Smith's post, if he was referring to Zimmer's notes, or to the windows in a room. I'd been recently checking Goldsworth's windows (Kinbote feared the Shadows and prowlers) and I passed too quickly in front of a mirror inside so it only caught my awareness too late to take it down. So here's the query: Aunt Maud's room was preserved as a sanctuary ( why?) and her dictionary was opened on the letter M ( moor, moon, etc). Well, Kinbote mentions another dictionary (Shade's? His own?) and it was also opened on "M". Has anyone mentioned this item? I have no time at present to search for it (there are lots of unshuttered windows to close...)

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