NABOKV-L post 0026240, Sun, 21 Jun 2015 05:18:26 -0300

PS to indications about the Saturday Review of the Arts
Mnemosyne is selective, whimsical, distortive but, fortunately, it can often
be accurate (I'm thinking of Brian Boyd's stupendous memory now). After I
followed his indication of the Saturday Review of the Arts, I had the
opportunity to read how other writers evaluated or appreciated or criticized
VN's works in 1973. A sentence by William H. Gass struck me in particular
for, excepting the posthumously published ToOL, I couldn't recollect any
other novel in which there was a death resulting from "removal by eraser".
And yet, this is one of the options that I encountered in his report.
How could W.H.Gass describe Philip Wild's obliteration before 1974, before
1977? There must be a recurring death like his in another story, even more
erasures but.where? The author mentions "VN's latest." and Transparent
Things (1972) inspired the title of his article. A pencil has his story
told, but there are no erasers in view, I think. Help!

"Mv memory of Speak, Memory entitles me to see a resemblance between it and
the hole that opens just inside his latest .. . to see, in fact, that it
composes an elaborate intertext, not onlv for the great N's books themselves
but for selected others. Transparent Things, indeed. Aquaria with
impenetrable glass sides. Death bv drowning, in Nabokov, is a common
contemplation. Strangulations, dream deaths of several kinds, including
removal by eraser: these are frequent. Even those who die in fires die first
of asphyxiation."

1973 - Saturday Review of the Arts

* <> Upright Among
Staring Fish

by William H. Gass

, p. 35 - <> PDF

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