NABOKV-L post 0016676, Sun, 6 Jul 2008 03:57:01 -0400

Re: THOUGHTS: artists don't have to be consistent...or do

You are both being very unscientific: almost as unscientific as Sigmund himself, in spite of his sincere pretensions. Clearly what you see as VN's psychoanalytical leanings, are simply his leaning, as did Siggy, on a huge foundation of Western culture, informed by Christianity, that teaches that we have a divided inner self, that we are part devil and part angel. They are both looking at the same sources. It's like bugs developing wings, and birds developing wings: the two are evolutionarily distinct phenomenon. Fran Assa

Date: Fri, 4 Jul 2008 02:20:48 -0400From: barriekarp@GMAIL.COMSubject: Re: [NABOKV-L] THOUGHTS: artists don't have to be consistent...or doTo: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDUOn Wed, Jul 2, 2008 at 10:17 AM, Jansy <> wrote:

BTW: VN's explicit opinions about psychoanalysis were apparently informed only by his contact with Freud's very early writings and, probably, by the "utilitarian Freudians". Therefore, as I see it, he actually was a true Freudian inspite of himself.
I couldn't agree more, Jansy. Clearly (from my recent re-reading of Lolita and "Signs and Symbols"--most of the rest of his work I read many years ago and re-read from time to time) Nabokov had a good deal of what can now be known as contemporary psychoanalytic knowledge drawn from various schools, and is a "true Freudian" (since that is the phrase you used) in the most contemporary sense combining progressive interpretations of psychoanalytic knowledge, but he did insist on separating literature from science, or on vexing and playing with that question, enchantingly adding humor and philosophy to his magical fairy tales. I think he was making fun of anti-Freudians as well as certain kinds of Freudians he had in mind (probably mainly popularized vulgarized notions of them), and of didactic writers. The fairy tales that he was after are not inconsistent with embodying such psychoanalytic and other knowledge in literature, and the ascription "Freudian" seems dated. It seems strange to me that anyone might say "I am not a Freudian" and "I love VN." It seems strange to go to the trouble to say "I am not a Freudian" unless one is not up-to-date with psychoanalysis. It's an old-fashioned idea of what psychoanalytic thought really is, and an old-fashioned idea, extremely inappropriate, that psychoanalytic knowledge is incompatible with enchanting literature. It seems important to see how psychoanalytic thought understands and encourages creativity in a way that is quite compatible with VN's work. I think Jansy can explain this better than I.Barrie KarpNYC

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