Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0014191, Mon, 27 Nov 2006 17:13:39 -0200

Re: canine literary lines and several ups and downs
canine literary linessumming up a CHW summary with sprinkled questions :

CHW"Accept that both halves of PF emanate entirely from the inventive mind of Botkin, a mad Russian... Botkin, like VN, is both Kinbote and his Shade. Accept, ergo, that Botkin is a reversed image of Nabokov."

JM: A clarifying ellucidation for VN's often triptych remarks.

( I only didn't understand the description about "PF and ...two halves? )

CHW: "...laughing at himself, as well as at oozily plodding ploughman poets and pedantic mediocre academics. He is having fun at the expense of all the Kinbotes who follow his train, and swallow his bait. I include myself."

JM: In my ears VN's laughter never sounded cruel ( i.e personally derisive), as it may occur under a Kinbotean suit.

CHW. "To take one simple instance, in the index, a "bodkin or botkin" can be many things but one thing it certainly is not, is a "Danish stiletto"."

JM: what it certainly is not is the question that is to be?

CHW. "the description of Hazel's swampy death brought to mind, I also thought of Hitchcock's Psycho, 1960, which VN would most probably have recently seen, and how .. the swamp, a hideous black bog, swallows up Marion's white car as efficiently as a toilet disposes of a load of crap. Out of sight, out of mind. ...Though Marion was out of sight, her car was distinctly unblurry, however."

JM: I'm not overly fond of Hazel, even less toward the persistent bathos she finds herself submerged in, but..."load of crap...out of sight, out of mind"???

CHW. Nabokov, in praising the novel [form], speaks of the room its large form allows to the gratuitous, to "lovely irrelevancy". [Malouf].

JM: Thanks for bringing up "lovely irrelevancies". Some of them are.

CHW: D.H.Lawrence (not one of VN's favourites?) also failed to create "standard slang" with his play on Lady Jane.

JM: In "Ada, or Ardor" VN developped Proust's orchidal Catleya. I think that one made it to the dictionaries ( VN was sorry the innocent "iridule" didn't).

Carolyn Kunin noted that "Michael Strickland's correction of confusion between dogs Flush and Floss rang a little bell"... She asked: "Perhaps Woolf's dog came from the same line? The Nabokov's dachshund, Box, I believe, was a descendant of a dog that belonged to Chekhov, though how this came about I've no idea."

JM: No, Carolyn. "Flush" is a cocker-spaniel. Virginia Woolf's book is delightful for adults, children and dogs. The notes she appended add a special spice to social criticism on British aristocracy, poverty, manners, genders a.s.o.

Her invention about the origin of the "spaniels" name is very funny, pity that I don't have the book by me now to quote in detail how Carthaginian invaders hunting rabbits in a place latter to be called "Spain, incited dogs with "Span! Span! Span".

(I wonder how Peter Dale would explain that!)

----- Original Message -----
From: Carolyn Kunin
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2006 2:04 PM
Subject: [NABOKV-L] canine literary lines

To the List,

Michael Strickland's correction of confusion between dogs Flush and Floss rang a little bell and I was able to establish that Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote a poem "To Flush, My Dog" - - to which a charming note is appended:

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