NABOKV-L post 0010558, Thu, 11 Nov 2004 16:50:43 -0800

Re: Fwd: TT-20 Introductory Notes. Comments
Donald B. Johnson wrote:
> ----- Forwarded message from -----
> Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2004 22:05:47 +0900
> From: Akiko Nakata <>

Here are my usual small notations:


77.3 Recalling Appel's notations that many of us felt were occasionally
unnecessary, the question arise as to what lengths we should go in
spotting stuff some Freshman might not know: as "Doppler shift". Some
American males may not even know "shift" as a feminine garment!
What about first year French items, a la Appel, should we bother
to explain 'pouce' (of 80.3) to the "untutored?"

78.31 Nabokove nicely here lets stand "mouth", a misprint for "month"
without "substiting an 'n'"

79.6 "Fitfully, I imagint." brings back our perennial "Fit" on which
my strange thought are too off-the-wall to pester the group with.

80.23 "dreams are anagrams of diurnal reality" -- reminds us that
Giulia Romeo is in part an anagram of Moore, and Armande contains
anagrammaticaly "dream"

80.27 "her fair hair spread" could also remind some of dead Ophelia
in the brook with her hair spread, as in some "Pre-Raphaelite" painter;
or for a more gothic turn, Elsa Lanchester as the "Bride of
Frankenstein" with spread (multicolered!) flying hair.

Sorry, nothing very arcane here.


p. s. I have seen no evidence of my suggestions for Chapter 18: did
my post ever get through to the group?

> 77.3-5: An electric sign, DOPPLER, shifted to violet . . . and illumined the
> deadly white papers: The DOPPLER that shifted reappears in HP's nightmare as
> "a Doppler shift" Giulia Romeo wears "over her luminous body" (80.27-28) and
> as the violet light on her nape: "His square-nailed thumbs digging into her
> violet-lit nape" (81.5-6). The "shift" could be another pun when we remember
> the Italian sports car after which Giulia Romeo is named. The first
> paragraph also includes a verb "finger" alluding to "Fingerman" as well as
> the "deadly white" papers lit by the violet sign. They are the proofs of
> *Tralatitions* HP was checking in the previous chapter. When HP gets off to
> sleep he continues proofreading his thought and makes his real life and
> dream a kind of proofs: "that he would have to consult an ophthalmologist
> sometime next mouth," "he promised his uncorrected self that he would limit
> his daily ration of cigarettes to a couple of heartbeats."
> 77.23-78.01: the old wood's stupid plaint: Cf. "like a stupid pet it [the
> door] whined" (Ch. 2).
> 78.03: Did that wake her?: We suddenly hear the psychoanalyst question HP as
> in Ch. 16 we heard his first question "Why did he give up that specific
> remedy for insomnia when he married Armande?" Now we are back to the the
> interrogation that has been suspended since then.
> 78.13-14: the alarmingly effective "Murphy Pill": "Murphy" is the name of
> the king of vegetables in *The Vege-Men's Revenge* (1897). The child book,
> which seems to appear in the end of the novel, is discussed by Don Johnson
> in his "Nabokov's Golliwoggs: Lodi Reads English 1899-1909"
> (
> This could be just a coincidence, but I think one of the two editors of
> McGraw-Hill looking after the publication of TT s also hidden in the pill's
> name: Anne Dyer Murphy. Judging from her queries left on the typescript, she
> could be sometimes "alarmingly effective."
> 78.23-25: he too betrayed her . . . premaritally, in terms of time, but
> spatially in this very room: Unusual concept of time and space reminding us
> of Vadim, the protagonist of LATH, who confuses direction and duration,
> space and time.
> 79.06: Fitfully: One of the "fit's" we find in the fit-full novel.
> 80.09-10: You'd really hate to watch her changes of facial expression during
> the process?: HP really loved to watch her changes of facial expression
> during the process of love making (Ch. 17).
> 80.15-16, 31-34: Flames spurted all around and whatever one saw come through
> scarlet strips of vitreous plastic . . . . the selfsame flames moved like
> those tongues of red paper which a concealed ventilator causes to flicker
> around imitation yule logs in the festive shopwindows of snowbound
> childhoods: The dream prefigures the scene of dying HP at the end of the
> novel, where plastic will be glass and the imitation flames the real ones.
> "Those tongues of red paper . . . flicker": awakes the memory of the fire in
> the theater where we saw "serpentines of . . . toilet paper" (Ch. 11).
> 80.34: snowbound childhoods: As well as the "country of ice and fire," here
> seem to invade VN's memories of his Russian childhood or perhaps that of Mr.
> R.'s in Germany--at least, HP's childhood could not be called "snowbound."
> 81.01-02: a medievalish, sort of Flemish, long-necked shopgirl: Flemish
> paintings are from ADA? Cf. "as if by a Flemish master's hand" (Ch. 15).
> 81.17: Superman carrying a young soul in his embrace!: According to Brian
> Boyd, VN wrote a poem about Superman: "'The Man of Tomorrow's Lament.' On
> Superman's wedding night, the Man of Steel's vigor causes his honeymoon
> suite to explode. Alas, poor Lois! The prim *New Yorker* turned it down, and
> no manuscript survives" (*Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years* 44).
> 81.19-20: This is a bravura piece and not a patient's dream, Person: The
> other dream HP described was also dismissed by the mediocre psychoanalyst as
> "much too direct" (Ch. 16).
> 81.21: her night table collapsed with the lamp, a tumbler, a book: HP tried
> to crush the night table shaking off books, an ashtray and an alarm clock
> (Ch. 7) as if he was practicing the fatal scene in another nightmare.
> 81.26: her fair hair spread as if she were flying: HP's father "died before
> reaching the floor, as if falling from some great height" (Ch. 5). Their
> deaths are regarded as related with moving--horizontally and vertically--in
> the air. Though Don was not convinced, I still think Armande's snort in the
> beginning of the chapter also suggests the existence of HP's dead father
> around there.
> Flying Armande with her fair hair spreading, connected with the image of
> Satan aroused by the flickering tongues above, might suggest a witch.
> ----- End forwarded message -----

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