NABOKV-L post 0017177, Mon, 13 Oct 2008 00:29:02 +0100

Re: [NABOKOV-LIST] Stylistic distortions and foot-notes
Jansy: the prolific & weird mathematician Paul Erdo:s (worth a google, but
note that o: stands here for Œo¹ with the Hungarian umlaut ‹ not many
typesetters know that!) was fond of word-games. He pointed out that
³old/cold² was a rare, sad rhyming pair that also rhymed in German:
³alt/kalt.² Wonder if VN had this added nuance of ³alt-itude² brooding in
some recess of his fertile mind?

Question remains: the reason for VN¹s aversion to Finnegans Wake? Did Joyce
go TOO FAR, OVER-teeming with allusions, puns, spoonerisms, anagrams, and,
especially, with PARODIES of narrative cliches? Test case: No birdie aviar
soar anywing to eagle it! (Nobody ever saw anything to equal it).

Stan Kelly-Bootle

On 10/10/2008 00:33, "jansymello" <jansy@AETERN.US> wrote:

> In TRLSK Nabokov often gives hints to the reader about a particular pun or
> reference, but in a subreptitious way. I selected one example:
> He confused solitude with altitude and the Latin for sun. He failed to realize
> that it was merely a dark corner.[...] he was steadily cutting himself away
> from Life... and that the switch would not function in his solarium.
> The feeling I get is that he was still experimenting with language ( there was
> no need to bring up "solarium" a few lines later, excepet to stress his
> point).
> And yet, I enjoy the mixture of letters ( alt/lat, skipping an obvious
> "latitude") and the powerful alusions ( SK's lonely dark corner gets no sun
> and is as high as an ivory tower).
> In his Foreword to Bend Sinister his tone is more impatient:"The book teems
> with stylistic distortions, such as puns crossed with anagrams[...],
> suggestive neologisms[...]; parodies of narrative clichés[...];
> spoonerisms[...]; and of course the hybridization of tongues." Therefore, he
> adds: It may be asked if it is really worth an author's while to devise and
> distribute these delicate markers whose very nature requires that they be not
> too conspicuous. Who will bother to notice that [...]that the urchins in the
> yard (Chapter Seven) have been drawn by Saul Steinberg[...] Most people will
> not even mind having missed all this; well-wishers will bring their own
> symbols and mobiles, and portable radios, to my little party; ironists will
> point out the fatal fatuity of my explications in this foreword and advise me
> to have footnotes next time (footnotes always seem comic to a certain type of
> mind). In the long run, however, it is only the author's private satisfaction
> that counts."
> Fifteen years later Kinbote is born...

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