NABOKV-L post 0018531, Thu, 20 Aug 2009 08:58:08 -0300

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[NABOKOV-L] [QUOTES] Funnybone future and a mosaic
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Nabokov's and Shade's experiences with time-space fantasies are quite different.After Shade fell ill during his childhood, " wonder" and "shame" were the sequel of one of his delusional experiences ( Pale Fire, lines 148/156):
" I felt distributed through space and time:/ One foot upon a mountaintop, one hand/ Under the pebbles of a panting strand,/ One ear in Italy, one eye in Spain,[...] There were dull throbs in my Triassic; green/ Optical spots in Upper Pleistocene,/ [...] And all tomorrows in my funnybone."

In Strong Opinions (p.48,1964), interviewed about at what time would he have chosen to live, VN answered that "when" and "where" must be considered because he "would have to construct a mosaic of time and space". His desires which include "a warm climate, daily baths...the honey of ancient Persia, a complete microfilm library", summed up, very positively, as:
"I would like my head to be in the United States of the nineteen-sixties, but would not mind distributing some of my other organs and limbs through various centuries and countries."

Instead of finding himself involuntarily scattered all over the world ( like Shade), VN projected his demands onto a "constructed mosaic," very specifically choosing his time and his space (America in the nineteen-sixties, for example). Perhaps the only item that would match both Shade's and VN's fancy flights over the stage of the world would be their fear of "all tomorrows." (..."sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything").

More objectively, despite the mystery of winged parnassian memory, as an endpaper in his revised edition of Speak, Memory (SO,pg 90), he planned to include "a map of three country estates with a winding river and a figure of the butterfly Parnassius mnemosyne for a cartographic cherub..."

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