NABOKV-L post 0016409, Wed, 21 May 2008 12:16:30 -0700

Subject
Re: [NABOKOV-LIST] [ Ada,
or Ardor] siblings and their discoveries in the attic
Date
Body
That's interesting. I never thought to question Ada's insertions as Van's inventions--does that call Ronald Oranger the editor into question as well? I have wondered if they were really brother and sister, and whether this simply became a fond delusion for the couple because it made them feel like they were more alike somehow. I always took it for granted that the novel was a folie a deux; that anti-terra was a grotesque solipsistic fantasy wherein the lovers try to live happily ever after but can't.



----- Original Message ----
From: jansymello <jansy@AETERN.US>
To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 12:23:07 PM
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] [NABOKOV-LIST] [ Ada, or Ardor] siblings and their discoveries in the attic


Joseph Aisenberg : I think I can answer some of this...While the servants may have been speculating that Ada and van had the same father, it seems doubtful that Blanche had any idea of the extent of the baby switching. It's definitely debatable, but I don't think Ada's mention of Blanche's gossip creates any paradox. Before the album there was simply no proof[...] there is a suggestion in one of Ada's editorial scribblings that it's not quite right for Van to allow himself to narrate events that he could not know[...] Oneiric, I think she calls them. One little thing that's always niggled at me comes at the end of chapter five when Van has Marina watch the two children ascending stairs[...] she has a fleeting moment of worry [...] Which she apparently says outloud. How does Van know this? The whole scene in the attic, and the stylized way the children respond to their finds, reek of self myth-making on Van's part. Whatever happened in the
attic, it seems hard not to think it couldn't have really happened anything like the way Van narrates it. 
 
JM: Joseph Aisenberg raises many important points to the "attic" query. His observations concerning the narrator's voice, Van's writings of "Ada, or Ardor", open the way to undertand a little more of what has been puzzling me. We cannot be certain that Ada's editorial scribbling is really Ada's, but they do represent an important critical insertion advising us that Van's writing is mainly "oneiric", "self myth-making". 
And I agree...this is not a matter of "paradox" but of "something debatable and unproved".
 
As J.A indicated with precision, Marina's moment of misgiving voiced out-loud, or  Ada's complicated quips - -  reproduced almost as a recorded rendering on the "Bear-foot" in an exchange that implies some kind of "feet" (certainly not Oedipous'), but which employs  similar dynamics as those recently described about Jane Austen's introductions - - are events about which Van cannot know anything first-hand.
Where Van places himself in the narrative adds to the equivocal atemporals aspects that impedes the reader's  "identification with" any of the "characters."



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