NABOKV-L post 0026064, Sun, 8 Mar 2015 19:42:32 -0300

ENC: [NABOKV-L] Hurtling through Time and memory: a query.
Former posting: This space belongs to a "Forum" but I seldom find myself
engaged in a debate with Nablers on VN's assertions about his experiences in
life and as a writer, about his style, games, specious words. However, I
can always go back to a particular theme and construe a dialogue between
Nabokov and himself at different times. Here, "hurtling through time and
memory", after quoting him in TT in which time becomes "a specter of
thought" [ ] I chose a paragraph from "The Art of Literature and Common
Sense": : "The inspiration of genius adds a third ingredient; it is the
past, the present and the future (your book) that come together in a sudden
flash; thus the entire cicle of time is perceived, which is another way of
saying that time ceases to exist. It is a combined sensation of having the
whole universe entering you and of yourself wholly dissolving in the
universe surrounding you. It is the prison wall of the ego suddenly
crumbling away with the nonego rushing in from the outside to save the
prisoner - who is already dancing in the open."

Present posting, Jansy Mello: A typographical blunder in the quote I
inserted distorted its meaning. I forgot to underline "the past, the present
and the future," following the author's original text and clarifying the
reader about "the future" as the third ingredient present in the
"inspiration of genius". To proceed with my "debate" I chose to use this
opportunity (my blunder) to further explore the selected quote, now
returning to various sources obtainable in the internet and their
observations related to the "future", "inspiration" (mainly "Vorstog") and
"the prison wall of the ego".

1."it is the past and the present and the future." "This combination is
reminiscent of Ada's tower or Vadim's triple harlequin, both of which also
serve the key function of negating time, whiles the image of the freed
prisoner distinctly echoes Cincinnatus C.'s escape at the end of Invitation
to a Beheading. Intriguingly, it also closely parallels Emerson's
experience of transcendence described in his seminal 1836 essay, Nature."

2. "Cincinnatus's glimpse of the lining of another life reminds us of that
moment in The Gift (1938) - written at the same time as Invitation - when
Fyodor, bemused by the penumbral presence of his beloved Zina, realizes "the
strangeness of life, the strangeness of its magic, as if a corner of it had
been turned back for an instant and he had glimpsed its unusual lining"
(183) (Lara Delage Toriel)

3." Such hearts, such brains, would be unable to comprehend that one's
attachment to a masterpiece may be utterly overwhelming, especially when it
is the underside of the weave that entrances the beholder and only begetter,
whose own past intercoils there with the fate of the innocent author."
(Charles Kinbote)

4. "In 'The Art of Literature and Commonsense' he states that "time and
sequence cannot exist in the author's mind because no time element and no
space element had ruled the initial vision" that constitutes the germ of the
future work (pp.379-80).Thus, although the reader may have to confront a
temporal dimension when reading a novel, the author does not when it is
first born in his mind. The reason is presumably that the work derives from
the same timeless realm the author is vouchsafed to touch during moments of
hightest consciousness or inspiration. This suggests that Nabokov's
characteristic practice of filling his fictions with epiphanic structures -
with networks of concealed details, the connections among which emerge
suddenly - is an aesthetic embodiment of a metaphysical experience." An
interesting observation precedes this paragraph: ".in Speak Memory..he says
that memory's 'supreme achievement' is 'the masterly use it makes of innate
harmonies when gathering to its fold the suspended and wandering tonalities
of the past' (italics added, p.170). As one can infer from the context, by
'harmonies' Nabokov obviously means patterns in human life, which, together
with mimicry in nature, constitue one of his major forms of evidence for the
existence of a transcendent otherworld..[M]emory operates in some mysterious
harmonious way with the patterns "imprinted" by an otherworld onto life and
nature themselves." (Vladimir Alexandrov)

5."In his discussion, Nabokov goes on to suggest that, as with cosmic
synchronization, inspiration and the mysterious stimulation of the artistic
consciousness are likewise marked by an abandonment of physicality and a
crossing-over of the poet into a realm where the usual confines or time and
space are overcome." (Paul D. Morris)

6. "Yes! It sufficed that I in life could find/ Some kind of
link-and-bobolink, some kind/ Of correlated pattern in the game" . (John

7. ?..........................................

1.Companion to Twentieth Century United States Fiction, ed. David Seed.
2010. Barbara Wyllie, 373.; 2. Transitional Nabokov, edited by Will Norman,
Duncan White.Lara Delage-Toriel, 158; 3. Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov:
Foreword by C. Kinbote; 4. Nabokov's Otherworld, V. Alexandrov, 30; 5.
Vladimir Nabokov: Poetry and the Lyric Voice, by Paul D. Morris,121: 6. Pale
Fire, Vladimir Nabokov. Poem by John Shade (811-13)

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors:,
Nabokv-L policies:
Nabokov Online Journal:"
AdaOnline: "
The Nabokov Society of Japan's Annotations to Ada:
The VN Bibliography Blog:
Search the archive with L-Soft:

Manage subscription options :