NABOKV-L post 0019014, Wed, 30 Dec 2009 13:02:28 -0200

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Re: TOoL: Formal Experiments
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Carolyn Kunin [ to JM's "Nabokov wrote an "Introduction" to R.L.Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.I'm in doubt if this "introduction" ...was not originally intended to appear as an "introduction".If the text is not the same as the one found in VN's Lectures on English Literature, how is it possible to get a copy of it?"]: It is the same.
JM: Thanks, Carolyn. Nabokov's ghost seems to be still very active under various prefatory guises.

Darryl Schade (26.12) "Person from Porlock equals Bend Sinister..."
D.S (29.12):"If I may continue ...on a thread from my last posting: I forgot to mention Cortazar's Hopscotch... Nabokov broke ground for so much of this experimentation-- ...I know he was the ultimate perfectionist dictating how the reader received his work-- but did it ever cross his mind to try something like Hopscotch, or Michner's shuffled page Kaleidoscope, or the current incarnation of Laura allowing us to "rearrange" at our whim?

JM: Perhaps it has crossed VN's mind. Cf. chapter Three in "Despair": "How shall we begin this chapter? I offer several variations to choose from. Number one (readily adopted in novels where the narrative is conducted in the first person by the real or substitute author)..." Nevertheless TOoL's reshuffable cards are not a deliberate attempt by the author to have a reader rearrange cards and plot-lines: for me it is not something that comes as a postmodern bonus, but as an unfortunate accident. The irradiations of meanings and Nabokovian allusions already create multiple levels of simultaneous possible interpretations and this effect is, for me, even richer than jumping chapters or playing Magritte.
Nowadays every novel may be shuffled according to the reader's whim. TOoL's cards need not to have been concretely punchable and extractable from their nest to permit a reordering once they've been digitalized.

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