NABOKV-L post 0018096, Sun, 29 Mar 2009 23:36:53 -0300

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Can anyone identify this?]
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Carolyn Kunin: Can anyone identify this?[So here they are, the chapters ready,/ And, half against my will, I'm free/ Of this warm enterprise, this heady/Labor that has exhausted me....]
Tim Henderson: The Golden Gate: a novel in verse,Vikram Seth, Published by Random House, 1986,Original from the University of Michigan,Digitized Apr 10, 2008, 307 pages, from books.google.com
Barry Warren: The quoted lines are from "The Golden Gate," a novel in verse by the gay Indian writer Vikram Seth, which he was inspired to write after reading Pushkin's "Eugene Onegin." [...]
Tom Seifrid: believe it is Vikram Seth's The Golden Gate, a novel-in-verse written in Onegin stanzas.
R.S.Gwynn: Tim Steele is one of the best American poets writing today. Please check out his work.
S.K-B: http://www.nytimes.com/1993/05/02/magazine/vikram-seth-s-big-book.html?sec=&spon=&pagewanted=5 "One of the Americans he studied with, the poet Timothy Steele, has become one of [Vikram] Seth's closest friends and a kind of mentor. "The Golden Gate" bears a dedication to him ("If anything in this engages/By verse, veracity, or vim/You know whom I must credit, Tim") and Steele read "A Suitable Boy" from the earliest drafts. They found that they shared a respect for traditional forms." Where's my PRIZE? [Can't say that I'm enamoured of VS's poesy. A tad too Shadean ;=)


JM: Princess Kunin Turandolyn: was there a prize?
A courtly advisor might suggest that the prize goes to who established the point of your inquiry, namely, the relationship between Vikram Seth and Nabokov. There are two candidates, who mentioned Pushkin and Onegin stanzas (ie: B.Warren and T.Seifrid). Nevertheless, S K-B also deserves a place of honor, since he connected VS's poesy to John Shade's, thereby leading one to consider side by side John Shade and Onegin stanzas in the XX/XXI centuries.
Whenever I read Nabokov - at present, Pale Fire - I see something new. Take these lines:
I'm ready to become a floweret

Or a fat fly, but never, to forget.

And I'll turn down eternity unless

The melancholy and the tenderness

Of mortal life...your gesture of dismay...

I'd been arguing, quite recently, that both Shade and Kinbote ( together with the Readers) are Nabokov-pawns, being juggled by his "plexed artistry" ( the Reader, just as VN has stated somewhere, is part of his fiction: the reader as engulfed by his work and his thoughts included in its "fiction"). Still, independent judgements are still possible and mine is that Shade can never be Kinbote.

John Shade lovingly addresses Sybil in a way that Kinbote is totally unable to envision, feel, value.

Even a mad split-off part of Shade ( emerging as Kinbote) would be able to write anything even close to these lines, although Shade, as Kinbote, would be capable to write the commentary and the Index.

Besides, Shade admits that "he is ready to become a floweret or a fat fly" (a homosexual Kinbote or a Botkin parasyte), but never to forget... since he'd even turn eternity down to guard intact his private memories: for him, life-ever-after, without Sybil, is just impossible to accept. Isn't this just a typical VN-tease?

If we transform Shade-Kinbote-Gradus into a single literary figure, Shade would, necessarily, forget Sybil's gesture of dismay, her wonder at an airplane leaving a trail against the sky, etc etc.

His parents were preterists, so is he: every detail, emotion, emoticon counts for him. Whereas Kinbote...well!

To have Shade become a "floweret of a fat fly" would endanger VN's project... at least, that's how I think about it today.

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