Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0017158, Mon, 6 Oct 2008 09:38:03 -0400

Chess and Terra/Antiterra doubling
Instead of two chess games or two different brains overlooking the same
game. It could also be that the "spacio-temporal" split of Terra/Antiterra
could simply be simply a split in consciousness, Van's. He could well be
the psychotherapist drawn into madness by the "texture of time" that is so
palpable for his patients.

[...]Incongruity is spacio-temporal... We could approach this description to
another that arrives two paragraphs later: "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" (A,18). There is an assertion that a
"sliver of light" of infinite variations lies between the "darknesses" of
definite beginnings and equally determinable endings. This might be as true
for chess matches as for the convergence of the "parallel" spaces of Terra
and Antiterra - should we accept that these two chess games, or characters,
represent a single one, now doubled because it is apprehended by the two
different brains that are exercising themselves on only one board. Reader
and book. Past and present...

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