NABOKV-L post 0014067, Wed, 15 Nov 2006 15:50:36 -0200

Re: A Proposal and current PF phase
Steve wrote: "How about Transparent Things? I wouldn't mind re-reading that in a night or two -- one of his better efforts imo. Compared to Look At the Harlequins... is there anyone who enjoyed LATH?"
Jansy: We had some fun reading TT last year, with the invaluable help of Akiko Nakata and Don B.Johnson, searching for allusions to the French Revolution, trying to discover why a statue was "Pauline ..something nest" and the lovely sentences which, just by themselves, gave the reading (re) such poingnancy and joy.
We find indirect images shared in TT and PF ( like the asparagus and vegetable soup seen through a transparent body, Don posted the illustrations he got from a magazine about these). I think it would be wonderful to return to TT, but only if people searched the Archives first before going over the same issues in the same way, instead of offering new readings. Like it still may happen with PF: while checking the "Index" I was surprised at what has still been left out of our discussions...
I didn't enjoy LATH, I had great hopes for Harlequins and the Commedia del Arte - - I feel it didn't succeed in its self-referential and involutional exercise.

Stan K-B wrote: "I never doubted that Freud told the joke as you [JM] reported. Simply that I felt the added 'not' increased the RQ (Risibility Quotient -- a rather subjective metric) -- and when you say 'original joke' I hope you don't mean there are no earlier versions... As with VN's 'Red Sox beat Yanks 5-4/ On Chapman's Homer': I reassert that the historical events (teams, scores, dates) can usefully be explored ...but the essential giggle remains even if a Chapman never played a damned game against them damned Yankees. Finally you could argue that the two participants in the Freud joke need to be of a certain mock-disputatious disposition...and why it comes over best in Yiddish."
Jansy: I shall add a [RQ] to [FAQ-FUQ] procedures. I cannot speak Yiddish but the humor is such that translations almost never spoil them, something that often occurs when rendered from English to French, or French to German, etc.I have a friend who demonstrated that Jews always have some more fun to add to an already funny joke ( no space to quote his un-nabokovian example, though).
When I said "original" I only meant Freud's own "original" wording ( I read him more often in English or in Portuguese). On the Chapman Homer issue, the more it is explored the more we find added expansions ( such as your suggestion that Aunt Maud's clipping ante-dated the event, a rather Kinbotean trait in her...)

Peter Dale: "Sexual innuendo is not something Freud discovered".
Jansy:Right! Nor did he discover sexual symbols in keys, swords or cigar-boxes: he only put them at his service. I'm always puzzled when people seem to think Freud vindicated sexual-symbols and innuendoes and...criticize him because of that.
(I loved the note on Ovid you quoted, the one about small ladies exercizing on horseback.)

Carolyn: " in order for them to make sense you will have to at least temporarily accept the possibility that my reading of Pale Fire is not an aberrant one - - that Shade having suffered a cerebral stroke is taken over by an alternate personality, King Charles the Beloved, or Kinbote..."
Jansy: The links you found bt. Sylvia, Sybil and Disa were very clever and well-illustrated. Although we may temporarily accept that your reading is not an aberrant one ( don't every reading of VN get close to that, too?), I'll still argue for a novel with multiple-levels and various solutions, not a single true and definite one.

Search the archive:
Contact the Editors:,
Visit Zembla:
View Nabokv-L policies: