NABOKV-L post 0015735, Sat, 1 Dec 2007 08:02:06 -0800

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Re: THOUGHTS on Canto One
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That first sentence of Mr Gwynn below says it all, re the literal-minded posting which makes Aunt Maud equivalent with the "wench" at the end of Canto One. pudenda and all. That linkage is offensive, not at all in the spirit of the poem (and the book) and, finally, simply unfounded. Need we be reminded that this is a METAPHOR, and that the "wench" in queston is an example of a "comparison-generated" character which VN discussed in his book on Gogol? Once this type of literal equivalency begins, there's no stopping. Bring your own hobby-horses. Ride to perdition.

John Mella


R S Gwynn <Rsgwynn1@CS.COM> wrote:
If a poet's metaphors are taken literally, no end of damage can be done to what he or she intends. This has been done, in an especially cruel and crude manner, to Emily Dickinson's poetry in recent times. I would hate to have the tropes in my own poetry subjected to such literal-minded scrutiny.

As for fish glue, here is a helpful link:

http://aic.stanford.edu/sg/bpg/annual/v19/bp19-29.html

In my own wretched youth, I could not stop myself from tasting schoolroom mucilage (now almost impossible to find, alas), despite having been warned that it was made from the rendered-down hooves of horses, cows, and mules. And, for that matter, I even now get a taste of Elmer's when I bite the dried-out end off the bottle's spout. I would not, however, recommend that anyone try the experiment with Crazy Glue. Search the Nabokv-L archive with Google
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