NABOKV-L post 0023058, Sat, 14 Jul 2012 07:09:49 -0300

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Re: Pages of VN lecture still AWOL?
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C.Kunin (off list): "Well, I did say that we [Jews] "have our seekers after immortality" as well. In fact, current Judaism believes in the bodily resurrection on the Day of Judgment, which is ostensibly why our coffins must not have nails, so that when the trumpet shall sound and we all shall all be raised, be raised, no one will be stuck banging on the lid. As to why Nabokov rejected Freud - don't be so quick to believe everything the old man wrote about his motivations [snip]. ..."

Jansy Mello: Were you quoting Isaiah, from Haendel's Messiah ("be raised, be raised")? Brian Tomba's answer to you, trumpets or no trumpets, is rather funny and cunningly introduces another Nabokovian theme related to Freud...Puns! "It sounds as if Beethoven wasn't dead in his grave after all, merely Haydn../ I can't speak for Nabokov's views (the ones you find distasteful), but I can sympathize with them. However, I can also sympathize with Mozart's, if death means not simply bodily dissolution but spiritual liberation from punishing puns." (those Edmund Wilson, in his letters to Volodya, found distasteful too).
I'm not a quick believer in "what the old man wrote," only careful. Some of VN's motivations remain a mystery to me: why bring up Freud and his school of fish in almost every American novel and interview? Even if his works aren't read in the future and nobody knows who Fulmerford was, Nabokov's "immortality" in this way will guarantee Freud's!




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