NABOKV-L post 0015661, Thu, 8 Nov 2007 17:36:34 -0500

THOUGHTS: Allusions to the real in VN's fiction
MR: "VN has, in Eysteinian fashion, placed a real object in his fictional
milieu, but it is an object from the future...

Robert Borski wondered "if a similar importation from the future doesn't
occur in LOLITA, when HH quotes from Lo's teen-magazines, "The Joe-Roe
marital enigma is making yaps flap" -- the 'Joe' in this case perhaps being
Joe DiMaggio, with 'Roe" being his wife, Marilyn Monroe. The two were not
yet married in late 1953 .."

Borski metioned that "it would not have taken that big a leap of intuition
to surmise..." whereas M. Roth noted that: "Kinbote, writing in 1959, say
the lines are from a poem "recently published," but in fact the lines were
not published until 1961."
Roth's observation suggests this "big leap" - but it would be true only if
we accepted that "to be published" means to appear in book-form. Even what
we write down at a discussion group such as the VN-List, or present verbally
to a selected few should be undersood as "published", or not?

I enjoyed Roth's suggestion of a known Zen story in which we first to see
something ( a waterfall), then lose it entirely from view ( the cataract
disappears in the landscape and the landscape disappears as a scenery that
is interpreted perceptually) and next, in a third movement, we recover the
something ( the waterfall in the scenery) as it "really" is. [ I think it
was J.Friedman who first brought up this story, while discussing the Masster
who dreamt about a butterfly?].
In MR's words: First the viewer thinks the painted subject real. Then the
viewer realizes the painting's artifice. Last the viewer realizes there is
something real in the painting after all. The Ford allusion works precisely
the same way. When we first encounter it, we recognize a real person, Edsel
Ford the automobile maker. We then realize that the reference can't be real,
since Ford was not a poet. But in the end we discover that the poet and poem
actually do exist, though not quite as we first imagined ....


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