NABOKV-L post 0017961, Mon, 16 Mar 2009 15:46:29 -0300

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Re: THOUGHTS: More bits of S in K, and vice-versa
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( 3/9/09, Joseph Aisenberg ) But at the end this doesn't resolve itself in any kind of concrete dramatic form, and Kinbote suggests that he, like V
of The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, or the hero of Bend Sinister, comes close to meeting or somehow crazily intuiting the author himself, the happy
hetorsexual Russian, and the illusion disappears, the fiction is dismissed.

(3/13/09, J.Friedman) Now you're talking! Though I think there's another point or two where the fiction is even more clearly dismissed [...] I'm happy with what you say if you add that Nabokov suggests this obsessive need can lead us to our closest approach to the truth. And with this in mind, I think the disappearance of the illusion and dismissal of the fiction look quite different--[...] it leads us toward what Nabokov believed was the real transcendental above our world.

JM: Last year (April) we had a lively exchange about Kinbote/VN: "I shall try to exist. I may turn up yet...a writer in exile, sans fame, sans future, sans audience, sans anything but his art... And as J.Friedman wrote then: "...he was even less "sans anything but his art"...The blurring is very strange indeed...
Sans fame... sans audience... "

The references ( Fitzgerald's "Sans wine, sans song, sans singer, sans end", and Shakespeare's: "Sans teeth, sans eyes...," from As You Like It [ "All the world's a stage/ And all the men and women merely players... Last scene of all,/That ends this strange eventful history,/ Is second childishness and mere oblivion,/ Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."] at the time didn't include Prospero and The Tempest (it was mentioned in BS, I think), nor Rupert Brooke's "The Fish".

RB makes his presence felt in RLSK, in a tantalizing way, directing his lines to "an English unofficial rose" from Berlin, whereas Sebastian's experience was oriented in the opposite direction - but equally an exile's.
In RB's "Fish" there are no historic, linear registers of birth and death, no individual memory, no consciousness. Nabokov aimed at more than a "dank sufficient heaven"...
"Dateless and deathless, blind and still,
The intricate impulse works its will;
His woven world drops back; and he,
Sans providence, sans memory,
Unconscious and directly driven,
Fades to some dank sufficient heaven."

By queer coincidence someone quite unrelated to Nabokoviana sent me news about an immortal living thing, a medusa (carrying her inborn umbrella!), or a Turritotopsis, who grows into maturity, sexuates, reproduces, involutes and becomes sexless and immature again, to start from scratch. Cf. Immortal life cycle of Turritotopsis...
Nabokov's "real transcendental" doesn't necessarily have to be situated "above our world", does it? How about... "invisible presence somehow felt in this our world"?

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