NABOKV-L post 0018213, Wed, 22 Apr 2009 14:49:25 -0300

Subject
NABOKOV-L] Added quotes about "timing" from VN and Bowers.
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J.Friedman:"I hadn't considered that we could believe Shade was shot but later than the day he wrote line 999..."

Nabokov: "... precise timing is deliberately used by Tolstoy to characterize, with ironic overtones, Karenin's scrupulously ordered existence that will be shattered before long." (LORL,Harvest Book, page 193)
Cf. also: "so is the gifted reader a universal figure, not subject to spatial or temporal laws... (He identifies himself) with the mind that conceived and composed that book" ("Russian Writers, Censors, and Readers")

Dear List,
Nabokov's investigation of the nature and texture of time can be witnessed in the episode of Shade's (apparently?) incorrect prediction that he'd wake up the next day.
(a) his irony is clear - should we accept that Shade was killed in July 21st;
(b) his irony is almost clear - should we suppose Kinbote faked the facts.
In the Introduction to "Lectures on Russian Literature", Fredson Bowers wrote: "Nabokov is fascinated by Tolstoy's time schemes. The how of the feeling that the reader's and the author's time-sense completely coincide in a manner that produces ultimate reality he gives up as an unsolved secret. But Tolstoy's juggling of the time-scheme between the Anna-Vronski and the Kitty-Lyovin actions is worked out in most interesting detail."


Bowers on VN's "understanding through feeling" and "facts":
"the most valuable contribution that Nabokov made to his students was not merely his emphasis on shared experience but on a shared informed experience"..."the scientist's respect for fact* combined with the writer's own understanding through feeling"...
.....................................................................................................................
* (xi,footnote: "But Nabokov does demand, for all his rejection of crude reality - 'those farcical and fraudulent characters called Facts' - a powerful semblance of reality, which, as he himself might have put it, is not the same as a resemblance." )




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