NABOKV-L post 0025186, Wed, 12 Mar 2014 11:29:04 -0400

Subject
Re: RES: [NABOKV-L] QUERY: Signs and Symbols
Date
Body



Re: I SENT


Jansy wrote: What an
amazing result: “I sent” - since it seems to fit perfectly into the young man’s
illness: his communication is absolutely self-referential and it brings no
other message besides the message. The (1964) phrase by Marshall McLuhan that
“the medium is the message” is perfectly rendered in this case (and, in part,
also in “The Vane Sisters” and in many other Nabokov writings)…


Jansy, thank you for your comments! The idea of a tapping code arose when I noticed that the
insistent beat of A PRI COT was like a hand rapping on a table, rap rap rap. Fifteen minutes later, following VN’s directions, and thanks to the web,
I was spelling out the logical message.
I was as amazed as you to see how cogent and perfect it was—delighted and
even a little shocked. “I SENT.” It speaks not only for the self-referential
manic son, but for Nabokov himself: “Wake
up reader, rap rap rap, I SENT a message. “


My point about the life or death of the son is simply that
all we are given to know is that a message was sent telepathically. It could be sent by a dead son, if one
believes in an afterlife, or a still living son who is telepathic, among his
other traits, and forbidden to use the telephone. I prefer to think the latter, relying on heliarc, the anagram for Charlie, and its suggestion of a rainbow. I think an old couple like this would not recover well from the death of their son, and so, to me, a rainbow makes no sense if he's dead: there would be no days of sunshine for them.



Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 23:45:29 -0400
From: STADLEN@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] RES: [NABOKV-L] QUERY: Signs and Symbols
To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU






We've been through all, or much, of this about ten years ago,
in 2004. See my lengthy comments in the NABOKV-L archives, summarised in
Yuri Leving's book on 'Signs and Symbols'. And also see Sandy Drescher's paper
on the subject. Both he and I, independently of each other, argued that the
third telephone call could be from the living son. I questioned the readiness of
people -- e.g. Alexander Dolinin -- to believe in a telephone
call provoked by a dead son in an "otherworld" rather than in a living son
able to pick up (and dial) a phone, simply because of an unreliable narrator's
would-be psychiatric clichés about what a hopeless case the boy was.

Anthony Stadlen


In a message dated 10/03/2014 23:16:04 GMT Standard Time,
franassa@HOTMAIL.COM writes:

Jansy, I didn't conclude that the son is necessarily dead.
If the dead can send messages, why not the living?




Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 10:27:45 -0300
From:
jansy.nabokv-L@AETERN.US
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] RES: [NABOKV-L] QUERY:
Signs and Symbols
To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU





Jansy Mello: Following the short description sent
by Y.Leving
[http://bloomsburyliterarystudies.typepad.com/continuum-literary-studie/2012/05/anatomy-of-a-short-story-nabokovs-puzzles-codes-signs-and-symbols.html]
I extracted the following: “Why, we wonder, fruit jellies for a ‘deranged’
son? Given the story’s title, naturally we might take a seemingly random
detail like fruit jellies to symbolize something greater in the
story.”

Frances
Assa went after this
greater hidden sense: “I think none of us can get away from
the sense that there is a message imbedded in the names of the jellies in
“Signs and Symbols.” The mistaken telephone call for “Charlie” and the
mother’s response (turn 0 not O) gives us more clues[ ]The
correspondence between Nabokov and Edmund Wilson show that both were intensely
interested in the “beat” of words. Morse code is also a kind of beat.
Using an on-line Morse Code translator I entered the dot or dash sound of the
beat of each jelly. (http://morsecode.scphillips.com/jtranslator.html) Thus, for
the word "apricot" the "a" syllable, the "pri" syllable and the "cot" syllable
of "apricot" can be sounded out as three longish equal beats (dash
dash dash) or possibly three short equal beats (dot dot dot). 3 dashes
translates from Morse to English as the letter O, while 3 dots translates as
S. If we heed the mother in the story the O should cancel out to zero,
leaving only the S option. Similarly, “grape” translates to either T (dash) or
E (dot). “beech plum” , as dash dot becomes N “quince” as dot becomes E,
as dash, T “crab apple” , dash dot dot, is D, or as two words, crab is O which
cancels out, leaving Apple which is I. One obvious
reading of these 5 letters is "I SENT."


What
an amazing result: “I sent” - since it seems to fit perfectly into the young
man’s illness: his communication is absolutely self-referential and it brings
no other message besides the message. The (1964) phrase by Marshall McLuhan
that “the medium is the
message”
is perfectly rendered in this case (and, in part, also in “The Vane Sisters”
and in many other Nabokov writings)…
Y.Leving’s excellent link proceeds
as follows: “As Nabokov’s tale unravels, it is revealed that the son
is in the sanatorium for his “Referential mania,” an invented term described
by a fictional doctor as causing a patient to imagine “that everything
happening around him is a veiled reference to his personality and existence.”
For a person suffering Referential mania, “Pebbles or stains or sun flecks form patterns
representing in some awful way messages which he must intercept. Everything is
a cipher and of everything he is the theme.” Nabokov’s inclusion of an
illness symptomatized by over-analysis calls to mind the reader’s search for
deeper meaning and symbolism in literature. Are we, as careful readers
searching for the meaning in a detail like “fruit jellies,” suffering from our
own literary form of Referential mania, the search for symbolic meaning in
everything around us? [ ] Nabokov leaves it up to us to determine
the outcome of the call, whether we decide the follow his symbols, and how
symbols in the text may or may not be interpreted depending on our own degree
of ‘Referential mania’.”

Prompted by E. Hyman’s conjectures
relating S&S and “The Vane Sisters,” I was led to the impression that, if
there are any spiritual messages in S&S, these must not be searched as
signals between the son and his parents. Now, after reading the
paragraphs reproduced above, I was even more convinced about that. Few
commentators stress the fact that ‘referential mania’ is “an invented term
described by a fictional doctor.” But it was this fact that convinced me that
readers shouldn’t at all suffer from “different degrees of it” in their
interpretation, unless they were unduly absorbed into the author’s short-story
(thereby suffering from a “literary form of referential mania”…).

Besides, the author is quite
insistent that this illness (as in the delusions of persecution) forces the
patient to interpret everything by placing himself in the central point of the
entire universe. If we are after indications of spirit communication from the
afterlife, this boy wouldn’t be our wisest choice to start our investigation –
unless we change our perspective. Instead of considering that he is dead and
sending messages to his parents from the spirit world (although
“synchronicity” can explain the ringing phone at the time of his death), we
might examine what might have been true spiritual manifestations among the
signs and symbols that plagued him in his illness.

What do you, Fran, and other Nablers
think about this suggestion?

Jansy
Mello









Este
email está limpo de vírus e malwares porque a proteção do avast! Antivírus está ativa.





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