NABOKV-L post 0017250, Sat, 1 Nov 2008 12:41:10 -0200

[NABOKOV-L] [THOUGHTS] Nature and Art
Dear List,

I suggested that, in La Veneziana we might consider McGore as the narrator ( who else could see the tennis racket as having been twisted "in the shape of an eight", forming the symbol of the infinite, if not he who was observing someone else holding this spoilt instrument in his hands?).Now, should we entertain this hypothesis, can we ask: does McGore's opinion reflect or contrast with Nabokov's?
McGore: "regarded the world as a rather poor study daubed with unstable paints on a flimsy canvas" (p.91). For him "as we have already remarked, Mr.McGore considered life's Creator only a second-rate imitator of the masters...",p.92)

VN valued the artist's ability to be as deceitful as nature and, at the same time, his power to create new worlds. Would he be opposed to Charles Darwin's accessment that "Natural Selection, as we shall hereafter see, is a power incessantly ready for action, and is as immeasurably superior to man's feeble efforts, as the works of Nature are to those of Art."?

Would he believe, like Kant, that beauty is present in nature and mere human beings are unable to emmulate it? Would he favor Hegel's position, according to whom "art is the product of the mind, and this expression of beauty surpasses the beauty coming from nature."? For Hegel, and McGore, what the human spirit engenders is more valuable than any natural production because the artist's creation is a reflection of an ideal concept.

Stephen Blackwell might ellucidate us over this point for I heard he's been ellaborating VN's concepts about the relation bt. nature and art. I wonder if he 'd agree that Nabokov didn't oppose either Darwin's view nor Hegel's, because his focus lay on how both nature and art worked together ( the eye that perceives, the mind that registers).

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