NABOKV-L post 0019133, Mon, 18 Jan 2010 13:09:53 -0200

Subject
Re: larvae & instars or Krolik: breeding or feeding?
From
Date
Body
CK: Although as Jansy well knows, Ada is my least favorite VN novel, now that my name has come up, I may as well follow it by sticking my own nose in and ask the as yet unasked question: why does Ada put those larvae (which larvae, by the way - - do we know?) in with Krolik's body? Any theories (I have one of my own, of course).
Alexey Sklyarenko (to Carolyn):"First of all, not "larvae," but pupae (a different stage in the metamorphosis of insects): "after Dr Krolik died (in 1886) of a heart attack in his garden, she [Ada] had placed all her live pupae in his open coffin where he lay, she said, as plump and pink as in vivo." (1.35). I wouldn't build a theory on this, because elsewhere Ada gives a different version of the end of her childhood passion for "everything that crawls:" "What had she actually done with the poor worms, after Krolik's untimely end?'Oh, set them free' (big vague gesture), 'turned them out, put them back onto suitable plants, buried them in the pupal state, told them to run along, while the birds are not looking - or, alas, feigning not to be looking..." (1.31)....In Blok's Incognita (the poem directly alluded to in Ada: 3.3) there are lines: И пьяницы с глазами кроликов/ In vino veritas кричат./And drunks with the eyes of rabbits/cry out: "In vino veritas!"

JM: Pale Fire:"IPH/ was a larvorium and a violet." ADA's IF: "my dream is to have a special Institute of Fritillary larvae and violets." An unmistakable link bt. larvae and the hereafter!*
Nabokov plays with Krolik/Crawly" and the French "rampent." Sklyarenko's link to Blok introduces "rabbits" and I don't remember exactly how, Krolik is substituted by or associated to Lapin (cunning rabbits).

I wouldn't give up the link with larvae (worms?) or pupae, Carolyn, if one considers the original meaning of the word as "masks, evil spirits, lemures," or mythological sejourns in Hades, to haunt Krolik.
Sklyarenko's talents could unearth, exhume perhaps, any indication that Krolik might stand for VN's Uncle Ruka. It would explain why, as I see it, Ada wants to damn Krolik's soul to hell, for ever.

...........................................................................................................................................................
* - ADA: "And speaking of evolution...a ‘primitive’ form of Time in which, say, the Past was not clearly differentiated from the Present, so that past shadows and shapes showed through the still soft, long, larval ‘now’?" [...] "The Texture of Time (1924)..., she said, always reminded her, in some odd, delicate way, of the sun-and-shade games she used to play as a child in the secluded avenues of Ardis Park. She said she had been somehow responsible for the metamorphoses of the lovely larvae that had woven the silk of ‘Veen’s Time’ (as the concept was now termed in one breath, one breeze, with ‘Bergson’s Duration,’ or ‘Whitehead’s Bright Fringe’)."

In Speak Memory, or perhaps in SO or even RLSK (I didn't check), the image of the transparent shapes of the past shining through "a larval now" has been mentioned, too.

Search archive with Google:
http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&HL=en

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com

Manage subscription options: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/