NABOKV-L post 0017144, Fri, 3 Oct 2008 16:20:53 -0300

THOUGHTS: Similar image in Bend Sinister and Nadja
Re: [NABOKV-L] THOUGHTS: Similar image in Bend Sinister and NadjaStan Kelly-Bootle: More important would be assessing any influences or interactions between Nabokov's and Breton's distinct (as it seems to me) views on "Art, Its Methods and Purpose." A quick google indicates much activity in this direction, employing postmodernist language beyond my immediate comprehension!

JM:Continuing along the thread spun by R.Meibos [ "perhaps Nabokov was paying a subtle homage to another modernist"], from PNIN: "To the latest issue of the school magazine Victor had contributed a poem about painters, over the nom de guerre Moinet [...] He dreamed of mellowing his pigments as the Old Masters had done [...] What did it matter to him that gentle chiaroscuro, offspring of veiled values and translucent undertones, had long since died behind the prison bars of abstract art, in the poorhouse of hideous primitivism?"
Actually, I don't think VN would have particularly admired Breton and the surrealists. At least, he made scathing remarks about Dali-Normal Rockwell..

There is Heraclitus in Bend Sinister, Parmenides as well, spiced with biblical Ecclesiastes: "We shall imagine then a prism or prison[...]How many of us have begun building anew - or thought they were building anew! Then they surveyed their construction. And lo: Heraclitus the Weeping Willow was shimmering by the door and Parmenides the Smoke was coming out of the chimney and Pythagoras (already inside) was drawing the shadows of the window frames on the bright polished floor..."

Stan K-Bootle ( Oct.01): "In a novel, we can ditch causal chains, and, as in VN's Invitation to a Beheading or Prospero's Tempest, just make the pageant disappear. That's quite a coincidence, nein?

JM: I wonder what kind of coincidence SK-B mentioned related to "make the pageant disappear". The ending of TRLSK suggested Prospero's Tempest to me, but there is something else besides in it that arises from the cadences of final sentences, as also in BS, Pale Fire and Lolita , a kind of elongated exhalation, a trailing off as in the ruined remnants and dust ...
TRLSK: And then the masquerade draws to a close. The bald little prompter shuts his book, as the light fades gently. The end, the end [...] but the hero remains, for, try as I may, I cannot get out of my part: Sebastian's mask clings to my face, the likeness will not be washed off. I am Sebastian, or Sebastian is I, or perhaps we both are someone whom neither of us knows.

PF:But whatever happens, wherever the scene is laid, somebody, somewhere, will quietly set out - somebody has already set out, somebody still rather far away is buying a ticket, is boarding a bus, a ship, a plane, has landed, is walking toward a million photographers, and presently he will ring at my door - a bigger, more respectable, more competent Gradus.
Lolita: I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita. oblong puddle invariably acquiring the same form after every shower because of the constant spatulate shape of a depression in the ground. Possibly, something of the kind may be said to occur in regard to the imprint we leave in the intimate texture of space. Twang. A good night for mothing.

Sandy Klein: ]
Book Review by Richard Wallace: "Sacred Book of the Werewolf"[...] is Russian novelist/satirist Victor Pelevin's take on modern Russian consumerism, Chinese werewolves and the work of the great Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov, among other things. [...]An ultra-chaste psychic vampiress, A Hu-Li takes life energy, gives away fantasy and keeps her body for herself. When not practicing her hypnotic sex trade, she reads voraciously and has a great love for Russian authors, especially Vladimir Nabokov.

JM: Nabokov mentions Russian folktales in "Glory" as magical sources of enchantment. He lists Russian surnames to insist on something special about Martin's grand-mother's, Indrikov. Squirrels and wolves are familiar enough all over VN's novels, as are the rabbits:
GLORY(p.15) "the magical origin of his grandmother's maiden name was a far cry from the various Volkovs (Wolfs), Kunitsyns (Martens) or Belkins (Squirrelsons), and belonged to the fauna of Russian fable. Once upon a time there prowled marvelous beasts in our country "
Query: How should we translate "Indrikov"?

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