Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0014097, Sat, 18 Nov 2006 19:08:47 -0500

Otherworldly logic (and proposal for collaborative reading of
Alexey S. returned to LATH, remembering that: "There was a marvelous article
by Don Johnson on that novel, included in his Worlds in Regression book...
And I'm sure there remain more riddles in the novel to be solved, more
Venice and geometry to those harlequins' rhomboid patterns."
Writing to SKB [ "VN is sadly out-of-tune with _real_ mathematics in his The
Art of Literature & Commonsense (Lectures on Literature, Harvest Harcourt
esp p 374)], DN quoted Herman Weyl: "The laws of nature do not determine
uniquely the one world that actually exists."(Hermann Weyl)?

More than a year ago (March 18, 2005), Jerry Friedman wrote about B. Boyd's
ghostly Hazel and "a real thing"...I thought part of his text might be of
interest to bring up at this point of our discussion of "Pale Fire" and
Otherworldly logic, since it seems to me it is nearing its end (at the

JF wrote: "Maybe in reality there is no "real thing", but in Nabokov I think
there sometimes is...Shade experiences the "real thing"...In the poem, it's
hard to explain lines 939-940: " Man's life as commentary to abstruse/
Unfinished poem. Note for further use."
Certainly after the completion of the book they apply in a way Shade
couldn't have imagined, but why did he write them? Supernatural guidance?
With this in mind, I don't see a convincing "real story". Except for the
story of the reader's successive penetration of illusions, of which I think
the second-last is meant to be the illusion of a real story, and the last,
our illusion that there is no higher reality than ours."

From the laws of logic, to the laws of nature and, finally, to VN's multiple
worlds ( in infinite regress or...?)...How about LATH for our next communal

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