NABOKV-L post 0017965, Mon, 16 Mar 2009 23:10:29 -0300

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Re: Subject:,Re: [NABOKV-L] THOUGHTS: More bits of S in K,
and vice-versa
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J.Aisenberg: in SO, in his interview, Nabokov doesn't ever give us any specifics, because, as he says, implies, suggests, no afterlife can be explained in living terms [...] it does not matter whether or not a fountain or a mountain hovers beyond the veil, but the fact he was nearly drawn to think so. That was my point.[...] neither of them can describe it[...] or do much than more than poetically sense it through the grid of their own unerstanding. I suppose, in my secular way, I take Shade's thoughts as just a way of not having to be disappointed with the little he can actually know[...]If the novel is meant to be a model of a specific "otherworld" then the book would have to be considered a failure [...]... significant, why? Because of the reader's urge, which mirrors Kinbote's urge to find zembla in Shadowland, and Shade's urge to discover an afterlife for he and sybil and his dead daughter....

JM: In the first place, a spelling correction related to former message.
The immortal ( or nearly immortal) medusa is called turritopsis nutricula*. One of the articles even questions our common beliefs about an inevitable doom awaiting every "solitary organism", and mentions this strange multitentacled animal as a proof for some kind of biological immortality, of the kind that VN would spurn, I think! It seems to me that his "serial souls" would always "embody" (?) Vladimir Nabokov.

For J. A "no afterlife can be explained in living terms" and yet, he employs words, such as "beyond the veil",just as J.Friedman mentioned "above our world", which are spacial indicators. Or adds that Shade expects to find Sybil and Hazel, perfectly identifiable as such, after their deaths. At the same time he admits that, as least in VN's fiction related to the "hereafter", there are characters who may "poetically sense it through the grid of their own unerstanding" ( in his example, Shade also puts faith in patterns and correlations) so they must "sense" something that is apprehensible, even without words or traditional sensorial inputs.
Does this indeterminacy spoil our pleasure when we read VN? No. It is part of the enjoyment! Afterlife may be indeterminate, but style, structure, the corpus of his text, are not. Although his preoccupation with an afterlife often intrudes in his writings, it is not an essential part of his literary achievements when taken as constituting a private belief: Nabokov uses it as part of his conjuring tricks, games, satire, poetic metaphors.
Hope, ghosts, evolving shadows... aren't they incorporated in his style? In my opinion his talent also lies in his ability to projects them onto the reader, who then perpetuates them (at least while he is reading.)

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*Excerpt: Solitary organisms are (according to current belief) doomed to die, after they completed their life cycle[...] Turritopsis nutricula (could we call it Joe??) managed to find a way to beat that [...] they revert completely to a sexually immature, colonial stage after they reach sexual maturity[...]They're able to return to polyp stage due to a cell change in the external screen (Exumbrella), which allows them to bypass death. As far as scientists have been able to find out, this change renders the hydrozoa virtually immortal.www.zmescience.com/meet-the-worlds-only-immortal-animal - 143k
Another article and address: www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/33516/title/Nearly_immortal_sea_creature_spreadsin - 28k


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