Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0017201, Sat, 18 Oct 2008 19:27:00 -0200

[NABOKOV-L] Midges in Lolita and remnants of the presesent
Re: [NABOKV-L] [NABOKOV-L] Midges in Lolita and remnants of the presesentS K-B: By one of those exciting coincidences, I've just iPodded from audible.com P G Wodehouse's "Pearls, Girls, and Monty Bodkin." I hope this doesn't trigger spurious Pale Fire speculation!
"Remains of the day" is indeed an evocative phrase familiar to Anglophones[...] The author's nightmare of "remaindered" books, cast off like "remnants" of little value. "Remnants" has slightly different resonances from "remains" [...] VN's "only picturesque ruins remained of the day" is wonderfully ambiguous [...] I also hear the Biblical warning: "Sufficient unto each day is the evil thereof." That is, clean the slate before bedtime.

JM: I was trying to find another example of "remains (or remnants) of the day" in VN,which a contributor sent in soon after this posting - to no avail. I vaguely recall it came from Transparent Things, but I only found the word with no signs of gloamings, Jeeves nor delicious coincidences. And yet thye term preserves the ambiguous distinction bt. "the remains of the deceased" and veryn lively "literary remains": "Every cent and centime I possess as well as all literary remains [...] must go to her, whatever the ambiguous obscurities contained in my will." Actually, in retrospect, I see that there are often references to "literary remains" in VN in one way or another ( Kinbote and Pale Fire, Ada...).
Beautiful lines by Khayyam ["Dreaming when dawn's left hand was in the sky ... "], which I think have already appeared in the List qua "left hand".
(btw "The evil thereof? Not "worries" or "cares" in relation to enjoying lilies in the fields? )

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