NABOKV-L post 0015608, Mon, 22 Oct 2007 14:49:43 -0300

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NABOKOV-LIST [Thoughts] Preamblings
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Dear List ( and Jerry F),

I was puzzled by J.Friedman's comments in which he distinguished "Preface" ( usually by the Author) and "Foreword" ( often by person other than the author, cf.COD), to which I now add the "Preamble", mentioned by John Ray Jr. in his "Foreword", next, the "Introduction" and the unnamed "Afterword"( Postface).

I decided to check some of the Nabokov books I had at hand and realized that not only I lack sufficient algebra to deal with J.Friedman's parenthesis and additions, but also had insufficient notion of "Set Theory"
I could not distinguish what is contained in one set ( Author, Foreword, Preface,Annotation,etc) and what is left out of the set, but still belongs to it. It is quite difficult to follow the clues to what is external to the book but published with the book, what is intended by commentators, annotators, preambulators, pre and posfators, authors, etc.
I wonder if the author Nabokov, in a reference to one of his books inside another, should always be seens as "Vladimir Nabokov", or if he is Vladimir Nabokov...

A short selection below:

Penguin: Vladimir Nabokov "The Annotated Lolita":

1.Preface by A.Appel in a "corrected and chastely revised version of the edition first published in 1970, is designed... This edition - now, as in 1970 - is analogous to what Pale Fire might have been like if Poor John Shade had been given the opportunity to comment on Charles Kinbote's Commentary"...
2. Introduction by A.Appel: Selected Bibliography; In Place of a Note on the Text by Charles Kinbote, Pale Fire (Foreword)
3. The Annotated Lolita: Foreword, Part One, Part Two, Vladimir Nabokov: On a Book Entitled Lolita
4. Notes
The Annotated Lolita:
Foreword by John Ray Jr.
"Lolita, or the Confession of a White Widowed Male," such were the two titles under which the writer of the present note received the strange pages it preambulates. Humbert Humbert," their author, had died in legal captivity, of coronary thrombosis, on November 16, 1952, a few days before his trial was scheduled to start.
Vladimir Nabokov
On a book entitled Lolita
After doing my impersonation of suave John Ray, the character in Lolita who pens the Foreword, any comments coming straight from me may strike one - may strike me, in fact - as an impersonation of Vladimir Nabokov talking about his own book. A few points, however, have to be discussed; and the autobiographic device may induce mimic and model to blend....
.....................................................................................................................................................................
I own other copies of "Lolita", for example, a "Collin's Collectors Choice" with an Introduction by Peter Quennell, but no Preface and Introduction and Notes by A.Appel and no Kinbote. It also doesn't carry John Ray Jr's Foreword, nor V.Nabokov's "On a Book Entitled Lolita".
............................................................................................

My Everyman's Library 1992 PALE FIRE offers an "Introduction" by Richard Rorty, plus a "Select Bibliography", a "Chronology", a dedication "To VĂ©ra" and an epigraph by James Boswell ( from Life of Samuel Johnson") added to which came a page with "Contents" where we find listed:
1.Foreword;
2. Pale Fire, a Poem in Four Cantos
3. Commentary
4. Index

The book itself ( Kinbote's?) must be what is listed as "Contents".

The Library of America's 1996 edition bears much the same as the above, except the Introduction, Sel.Bibliography and Chronology. Just as in the EVeryman's Library, the name "Pale Fire" comes as an Editor's choice to encompass VN's dedication and epigraph, plus Kinbote's (?) oeuvre.
JM

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