NABOKV-L post 0022310, Sat, 14 Jan 2012 00:40:30 -0200

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Re: [Fwd: Re: [Fwd: Brian Boyd and Nabokov's Uncle Ruka Dream]]
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Dennis Kelly :The Uncle Ruka Dream is probably a fake—it smacks somewhat too much of an 'insider’s joke' by Nabokov...Perhaps I’m just cynical, but this Brian Boyd anecdote about a Harlequin-disguised Uncle Ruka helping his beloved nephew in The American Years sounds more like the “Magician’s Dice” being rolled tongue-in-cheek at Cornell,..


JM: Nabokov made a point of keeping his public persona as distant as possible from his private life. It's highly probable that most of his reports and tales were deliberately misleading at some point. However he believed in coincidences and synchronicity as revelatory of life's mysterious patterns. The Uncle Ruka dream must have carried a grain of truth although one cannot ascertain what for him were "dreams" outside the literary realm.

When Nabokov stated that "My greatest masterpieces of twentieth century prose are, in this order: Joyce's Ulysses,Kafka's Transformation, Biely's Petersburg, and the first half of Proust's fairy tale In Search of Lost Time," his selection encompasses novels that have been written in English, German, Russian and French. He may not have read Kafka in its original language,though: would he have read it in English? Why did he choose to translate Kafka's title as "Transformation"?

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