Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0026171, Tue, 12 May 2015 03:04:17 -0300

coincidences: pn line quotes from Despair and The Gift

While sorting out my small treasures from "The Gift" I remembered a scene
which I was unable to find as it was not underlined in my old copy.
Impelled to recover it ( I had once experienced a paradise like the one
described by Fyodor while driving across a lake during a stormy afternoon: a
rainbow seemed to be reflected in the water together with a shimmering depth
of colored raindrops which were falling on it while I crossed), I resorted
to a search machine:
"Pattern of Elysian hues! Once in Ordos my father, climbing a hill after a
storm, inadvertently entered the base of a rainbow - the rarest occurrence!
- and found himself in colored air, in a play of light as if in paradise. He
took one more step - and left paradise."
Unfortunately there were no further references to locate it in the printed
novel and a curious illustration was appended to the quote, since it offered
a rainbow in which the blue was lying close to the red. [Cf.
/] This mixture of colors led me to a description in "Despair":
"I left the road and began to climb again, this time up a thinly turfed
slope. Dreary and barren country. The rattle of a truck came from the road,
then a cart passed in the opposite direction, then a cyclist, then, a vilely
painted rainbow-wise, the motor van of a firm of varnishers. In those
rascal's spectrum the green band adjoined the red."
Only then did I learn that these lines inspired the new Vintage cover design
for the novel [Cf
a-designers-best-friend/> Redesigning Nabokov: How Limitations Can Be a ...]

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