Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0015751, Sun, 2 Dec 2007 16:39:28 EST

Re: THOUGHTS on Canto One

In a message dated 02/12/2007 16:17:43 GMT Standard Time,

But I'm still not sure he was. Let's suppose he simply
did feel an unusual, almost obsessive intimacy with
nature, and feel "corrupted, terrified, allured" by his
seizures and the glimpse of death he saw in them. I
think images with sexual denotations or connotations
suit those feelings perfectly. And those two feelings
(the first in reference to the powers that stage storms
and cage us) are the very center of the poem, deserving
striking language.

(Also, pre-pubertal sexuality was something Freud
emphasized, as I recall. Is there any chance of yet
another parody of Freud here? I admit I don't see it.)

It would be strangely disingenuous of Shade to refer to the "lad" who is
sexually abused as he does if he was himself the "lad". Why should we not
accept, unless further evidence emerges, that this is a powerful and shocking, but
perhaps quite accurate, simile for the loss of innocence in, and ambivalent
response to, an early encounter with, or assault or rape by, death?

Anthony Stadlen

Search the archive: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/archives/nabokv-l.html
Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm