NABOKV-L post 0026227, Mon, 15 Jun 2015 11:17:48 -0300

Subject
Nabokov's Ideal Arrangement: A Flat in NYC
Date
Body
Mo Ibrahim: In a 1964 PLAYBOY interview Nabokov shared that he planned on returning to the United States from Switzerland. And fellow New Yorkers will be pleased to know that he planned on living in "America—back to its library stacks and mountain passes. An ideal arrangement would be an absolutely soundproofed flat in New York, on a top floor—no feet walking above, no soft music anywhere—and a bungalow in the Southwest. Sometimes I think it might be fun to adorn a university again, residing and writing there, not teaching, or at least not teaching regularly." Here's the link to the entire interview: <http://goo.gl/MI5XDb> http://goo.gl/MI5XDb

Jansy Mello: A soundproofed flat in New York… What a contrast! to feel protected and isolated smack in the center of a universe of noise. Apparently V.Nabokov not only detested music, but all other auditory stimuli that drowned human (his own) voice.
Mo Ibrahim's link invited me to reconsider VN’s kind of synesthesia by which sounds tended to become visual impressions, letters in pink quartz or ultramarine, rather than the opposite (he might have never been able to hear a rainbow).
In fact, there are no stridencies, fibrillations nor tremolos in his prose, are there? (my memory distorts his sentences now by its whimsical evocations).
I wish I knew anything related to “prosody” to mentally explore V.Nabokov’s incantatory powers, his magic kind of “chant” that is soundproofed to human din.*

There is an entry about "scuds and tilts" in the Wikipedia: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notes_on_Prosody> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notes_on_Prosody

Here is a sentence I selected from B.Boyd's VN American Years: " -what seems striking about "Notes on Prosody" is that Nabokov fails to make as clear as his usual lucidity permits the real contrasts between English and Russian meter [ ] His adherence in "Notes on Prosody" to these diagrams [metrical schemas he learned in 1018 from Andrey Bely's Symbolism]and their emphasis on scuds rather than other modulations seems to have two sources. First, his unusual reliance on the forces that shaped him in youth. When writing "Notes on Prosody" he did not reconsult Bely's work, which he had not read for nearly forty years, nor did he rethink thoroughly enough how applicable Bely's system would be to English poetry. Second, his reliance on these diagrams appears to reflect a desire to suggest that the language whose verse filled him with such rapture through his teens and twenties, as reader and writer, is somehow richer in its musicality than English…”(pages 353/354).

………………………………………………………

*the word “din” carries me back to Wordsworth (1798, Tintern Abbey), to my own youthful beginnings in the musicality of English poetry and while still unaware of this special “sylvan Wye”:

These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;

……………………………………………….

when the fretful stir
Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
Have hung upon the beatings of my heart--
How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee,
O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer thro' the woods,
How often has my spirit turned to thee!


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