NABOKV-L post 0014466, Thu, 21 Dec 2006 23:03:02 -0200

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Spectral Poshlust, Rosacrucean geometries and other exchanges...
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SKB: From Jane Hirshfield's "After Long Silence" ("After," Bloodaxe Books):The untranslatable thought must be the most precise./ Yet words are not the end of thought, they are where it begins.
JM: Thought often doesn't depend on a human thinker, nor does thought recquire words - or am I totally lost in the Mathematical jungle?
Eff it for me, please? (Or this merits a first Wittgensteinian silence?)

SKM: ...I take the more direct track (geodesic!) to Pythagoras the Geometer (more a School than a single Chap). The shadows cast by rectangular window frames (lattices!) suggest many interesting ideas in Projective Geometry which, in fact, POSTdates Pythagoras by some 800 years
JM: Those were VN's own Greek "lattices", I imagine. He will soon also mention framed square roots, quite irrationally and disorderly ( therefore condemned to death by our Great Architect?). In "The Enchanter" ( if I still remember this correctly) there are interesting clues about windows in a rosacean-crossing traversed by the wind. I seem to remember that this "compass" came as a reference to a story by Gogol.
Perhaps someone might help find these clues for our mathematical-minded investigator to follow...???

CK asked Don: Perhaps the association is between "wax" and "wings", i.e. Icarus?
JM: Don asked if "anyone figured out the last entry under "Waxwings" in the PF Index: "interesting association belatedly realized" There is no page #.".
I don't think there should be a page indication at this point. The appended observation on "a belated association" seems to belong only to Kinbote's reminscing ( if such a thing were possible).
The preceding indication takes us to "notes to line 71: Parents." This is why I think that the item belongs to "parents", not "waxwings".

Your idea to join wax-wings and Icarus ( his fall ) is simply beautiful. Shade writes about mountains and fountains ( independently fromf the purring orc(h)ideous-haired lady ) and I once thought he might also be alluding to the famous fountain-pen "Mont Blanc". But VN chose pencils rather than fountain-pens to write. In Brazil these MonBlon were exemplary "poshlust" objects...( was there ever a collectible Nabokov-Mont Blanc for sale?)

CK: "Anything said "in a sort of kindly reverie" can't possibly be poshlust', can it? Also I don't think kitsch and poshlust' are quite the same thing, though not sure why. I've never cared much for Nabokov's poshlust' idea, I have to admit."
JM: Not every kitsch object is loved because of a poshlustig taste, but a poshlustian taste loves kitsch, is this what you mean? And I fully agree with you, nothing said in a "kindly reverie" can be poshlust.

CK: This "Brocken Spectre" figures prominently in Hogg's Confessions, Coleridge ("cedarn") traveled to the Harz mountains in Germany in hopes of experiencing the optical illusion, and Shade's parahelia suggest that VN too found it an interesting phenomenon.
JM: Now, I'm not only lost in the Jungle but begining to become dellirious since I never climbed anything higher than Algonkin-kind mountains and I think I saw a "Brocken Spectre" more than once. Do people need to climb up high mountains and even travel to Germany to experience this optical illusion?
Doesn't it, to arise, depend simply on setting/or/rising sun and mist with, perhaps, a view from a bridge or a slope?

A. Bouazza: The Russian word gorst', then, is the equivalent of the Scottish "gowpen" which VN used and glossed in ADA: "...cupped a guinea pig in his gowpen (hollowed hands)..." p. 402. BUT cf. my earlier posting where I mention Brian Boyd's gloss of knackle.
JM: In Bend Sinister the image of "hollowed hands" is closely associated to holding an insect.
Why would VN choose Scottish "gowpen" for this in Ada? Does this happen in a particular context that demands this imported word?

JF: "I now see it's at an altitude of 1000 feet or a bit more, which is not too far from New Wye's 1500 feet...I wonder whether Nabokov put New Wye at altitude of 1500 feet to give it a climate and flora and fauna similar to Ithaca,lower but farther north.
JM: I was thinking about Shade's lines (506-510): "You and I,/ And she, then a mere tot, moved from New Wye/ To Yewshade, in another, higher state./ I love great mountains/... a snowy form, so far, so fair..." There are no commentaries to this part!
Kinbote's notes jump from line 502 to line 549. Kinbote's commentaries are also scant concerning other verses: they jump from lines 247 to 270 without stopping on Shade's description of New Wye falls and cataract.

A.Bouazza: "[Bert]Schneider [a producer] had a book called Obsession, which Godard had earlier made into Pierrot le Fou*. It was about the relationship between an older man and a teenage girl, a subject of more than routine interest to Bert."At the eleventh hour the movie was cancelled by Barry Diller [executive]. ..The picture was of course never made. Eventually, VN did turn his nymphet, or rather the concept, into a faunlet in Pale Fire.
JM: Do you mean B. Schneider wanted to make another picture inspired in Lionel White's novel "Obsession" and it was rejected? How is this related to VN?
I haven't read White's novel, but I watched Godard's "Pierrot Le Fou" in the sixties and there was no particular comment nor any kind of strangeness concerning the relationship bt. the "older man" and the "young girl" in Godard's film ( she was not twelve, anyway.)
I always thought that VN's turning girls into boys was mainly a reference to such procedures ( but with opposite reversals) in Shakespearean performances, & sometimes in his plays ( but there, again, mostly girls into boys) ?

CHW on quoted VN: "I am 1/3 American --- good American flesh keeping me warm and safe." /"I am an American, I feel American, and I like that feeling"/ "I see myself as an American writer..." wrote that these: " at first glance, seem very compelling, especially the last two. On second thoughts the first three strike me as slightly dubious. I do think that the dates they were uttered, as well as the contexts in which they were made, also have to be given close consideration. I am reminded of the popular statesman who famously declared "Ich bin ein Berliner", and the political context in which he made it.
JM: I think I understand what CHW means since I was recently struck by certain comments ( which I extracted from BS two or three postings ago) where VN's love for America was not at all expressed on the spur of a "blind passion". Even the first one about "good American flesh" may apply to the fact that it was in America that VN quit cigarette-smoking and gained weight ( and a comfortable poshlusty waist?).

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