NABOKV-L post 0017673, Sun, 8 Feb 2009 00:25:36 -0200

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[NABOKOVL] [Idle conjectures] Werewolves, Vsleslav and...paradises
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J.Friedman to S.Arons:If you don't mind my disagreeing with something in your recent post, I interpret "Vseslav" as one of Charles's given names[ ...].if Nabokov meant "Vseslav" and maybe "Kinbote" to suggest werewolves, as I think, then it may provide a little additional enjoyment[ ...]Now if Kinbote's first name had begun with an R...

JM: What if "Kinbote's first name had begun with an R"? You made me curious about that.
In relation to "Vseslav" and werewolves, although I could not find the specific links, one of the studies about the "Song of Prince Igor" links a historic Vseslav to werewolves in Russian folklore - and we know that VN was deep into this story.

Returning to paradisical intimations:
Nabokov's passionate adherence of Pushkin's writing and times lies in contrast to their world-views, social and love life, attitudes and engagements. Perhaps the same kind of opposition applies to the following impression: Although Updike recognizes that it "was Nabokov's preening gift to stir paradisiacal intimations wherever he alighted," both had different ideas about paradise.
A recent VN quote I came accross is illustrative: "Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man." The description of H.H's relation to Lolita, Van's with Ada, SK's and Clare Bishop's for example, and their passion, is very unlike the kind of love-making one encounters in Updike's less-bejewelled sentences, such as:
"When she walked with Jerry, there was something there, but it was no longer her, it was them..." or the Freud-inspired:"When they first began to make love, she had felt through his motions the habitual responses his wife must make; while locked in this strange man's embrace she struggled jealously againt the outline of the other woman...in the beginning four contending persons seemed involved..."
VN's characters are often sexually promiscuous but they remain faithful to an original fictional-partner. Their allure is chiefly "literary". Updike's are serially monogamic and more (mutually) actual.

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