NABOKV-L post 0026078, Mon, 16 Mar 2015 22:55:40 -0300

Van Bock's "artist's studio" and redemption? The two quotes and
another one...
Former posting: . "However, somewhere, V.N stated that his novels are not
about how the characters interact, but how author and reader engage
themselves in the process (and embrace on top of a mountain etc etc ). This
leads me also to Ada's lines ...when there are two chessboards and two minds
playing the infinite variations obtainable in games with identical openings
and ends, when I consider that, for me, VN's novels are not closed but
permanently open to interpretations by its various readers at various times.
For Nabokov every novel might be both closed like a completed painting and,
also, open because readers exist that give life to the painting they wander
in and over it, as in a story that culminates in a 'tableau vivant'."

Present posting (JM): Whenever I associate one sentence by Nabokov to
another one, from a different work, my "treacherous memory" has already
worked over their more literal meaning and it registers simply my own
interpretation of them. To avoid further distortions, here are the two
quotes in their context:

" The writer is the first man to map [a new world] and to name the objects
it contains. Those berries are edible. That speckled creature that bolted
across my path might be tamed. That lake between those trees will be called
Lake Opal, or more artistically, Dishwater Lake. That mist is a mountain-and
that mountain must be conquered. Up a trackless slope climbs the master
artist, and at the top, on a windy ridge, whom do you think he meets? The
panting and happy reader, and there they spontaneously embrace and are
linked forever if the book lasts forever." (LL)

"There were those who maintained that the discrepancies and 'false
overlappings' between the two worlds were too numerous, and too deeply woven
into the skein of successive events, not to taint with trite fancy the
theory of essential sameness; and there were those who retorted that the
dissimilarities only confirmed the live organic reality pertaining to the
other world; that a perfect likeness would rather suggest a specular, and
hence speculatory, phenomenon; and that two chess games with identical
openings and identical end moves might ramify in an infinite number of
variations, on one board and in two brains, at any middle stage of their
irrevocably converging development." Ada I,ch3

My associations quite obviously distorted VN's original meaning but, in
spite of that, I still think these references serve to demonstrate the point
I was trying to make concerning his ideas about "the future.your book."
(materially encased between two covers and ideally loose in the minds of his
readers). However, it's only fair to present the original ones in their


*- As VN noted, in LL (Good Readers and Good Writers): "So what is the
authentic instrument to be used by the reader? It is impersonal imagination
and artistic delight. What should be established, I think, is an artistic
harmonious balance between the reader's mind and the author's mind. We ought
to remain a little aloof and take pleasure in this aloofness while at the
same time we keenly enjoy-passionately enjoy, enjoy with tears and
shivers-the inner weave of a given masterpiece. To be quite objective in
these matters is of course impossible."

I tried to find another related quote (namely, the full paragraph for ""In a
first-rate piece of fiction, the real clash is not between the characters,
but between the author and the world"), by using Google tools and got to an
information which might be useful here (.perhaps not, I couldn't access the
work that was cited!):

"An interesting related topic to the difficulty of mingling souls in
Nabokov's fiction is Stephen Blackwell's discussion of the "interpenetration
of souls" that is the ideal "author-reader interaction," an idea that
Blackwell argues is shared by Nabokov and Iulii Aikhenvald." (Blackwell
29-36). Footnote to ch.12, p.191 in "Nabokov's Permanent Mystery: The
Expression of Metaphysics in His Work" by David S. Rutledge, 2010.


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