NABOKV-L post 0014143, Wed, 22 Nov 2006 08:53:34 -0200

Fw: alain andreu
Alain Andreu explained to me, off-List, that one might explain the "OR" in LATH as an outcome of the narrator's failing memory. For him the novel is "like a vision through the Looking Glass" - "the opposite of VN's synesthesia." In his article: "Look at the Harlequins! Dyslexia and Aphasia, a Vision Through the Looking Glass" ( The Nabokovian, Number 55, Fall 2005,pages 13-19), he describes Nabokov's last novel as "a negative of Nabokov's autobiography, written by a second-rate writer afflicted with nervous pathologies and exasperating behavior... a singular book, halfway between cartoon and autobiography."
Alain Andreu's investigations demonstrate that LATH's narrator, Vadim, must have suffered an undetected dyslexia in his early years and, later, when he begins to write LATH, he's become "an aphasic, plagued by serious memory problems following a stroke." Andreu then asks: ..." if Vadim's stroke at the end of the story explains many things, one question remains: why did VN choose to write it ?"
Yes, this is a fundamental question: What kind of intellectual exercise did VN indulge in when he chose to write LATH?

Vadim confessed that "palm trees are all right only in mirages..." and I venture the opinion that his book might also be another mirage, like an Escher hand being drawn by a second hand that is drawn by the first one. So, when Vadim describes his great-aunt, the one who instructed him on how to playbout the Harlequin game ( "Come on! Play! Invent the world! Invent reality!") he immediately follows her advice: " I invented my grand-aunt in honor of my first daydreams..."
Are we back to anamorphosis?

A.Andrew reminds us that "Vadim's principal problem, which he feels obliged to confess, hidden as a prelude to all of his new conquests, consists of the impossibility of imagining himself, in the center of moving from point H to point P, stopping and then turning around to advance in the other direction, reversing the perspective." ( he offers us a special explanation to this problem at the end of his very stimulating article, wtih a Bergsonian bonus, which I encourage L-participants to read!).

I wonder: The problem Vadim describes is it one of not being able to imagine himself in a "reversed the perspective"? Has this any relation to "a vision through the looking glass"? Is it related to a frequent image chosen by VN in PF: that of being surrounded by a reflecting and transparent glass-wall of time?

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