NABOKV-L discussion


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Anna Karenina questions

Submitted by Alain Champlain on Sat, 05/15/2021 - 20:50

(Not directly a Nabokov question, but thought this might be a good place to ask.)

Is anyone here well acquainted with Anna Karenina?

I'm re-reading it for the first time, and now that I'm paying closer attention, I found I was totally surprised at the mention of Dolly giving birth (Two II), since this means she would have been quite pregnant throughout part One, and I couldn't find any hint of it (her thinness is all I can find) — am I missing anything? Was this on purpose?

VN and occult societies

Submitted by MARYROSS on Fri, 04/02/2021 - 18:31

Does anyone have information on what VN refers to in Speak Memory when he writes:


'Short of suicide, I have tried everything. I have doffed my identity in order to pass for a conventional spook and steal into realms that existed before I was conceived. I have mentally endured the degrading company of Victorian lady novelists and retired colonels who remembered having, in former lives, been slave messengers on a Roman road or sages under the willows of Lhasa.'


New books on Nabokov

Submitted by matthew_roth on Fri, 03/26/2021 - 10:42


March continues to be an especially exciting month for Nabokov studies. In addition to the release of the latest Nabokov Online Journal, we also have the publication of two new collections of topical essays and one new monograph:

1. Teaching Nabokov's Lolita in the #MeToo Era, Elena Rakhimova-Sommers, Ed. (See news page for full description)

Chart of PF and Finnegans Wake comparison

Submitted by MARYROSS on Tue, 03/02/2021 - 17:16

I want to add to my previous post ( a brief chart I made demonstrating many of the similarities between Pale Fire and Finnegans Wake (attached). My suggestion, as above, is that it seems possible that VN was influenced by Northrup Frye’s acclaims of Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, and purposely plagiarized the themes and motifs, possibly as parody or as a demonstration of how the same could be employed in a novel that is actually readable on a number of literary levels.


"Timon's Villa" and Pope

Submitted by William Dane on Tue, 03/02/2021 - 01:28

From "...Alexander Pope was unjustly accused of having represented the house as 'Timon's Villa' in his Epistle of Taste (1731).[5]"


[the note 5] Pope confided to Lord Burlington "that character of Timon is collected from twenty different absurditys and improprieties: and never was the picture of any one human creature"; quoted in James Lees-Milne, The Earls of Creation, :148...