Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0014553, Tue, 2 Jan 2007 17:57:10 EST

Re: shadow of a bird image

In a message dated 02/01/2007 22:22:20 GMT Standard Time, skb@BOOTLE.BIZ

Some listers seem to want the poem to ‘make sense’ as if it were a
real-estate brochure or architect’s plan.

But surely this is completely in the spirit of VN's own, repeatedly,
explicitly, stated approach to Anna Karenin, Ulysses, and so much else. If it
doesn't make such sense, then there will be a good (or possibly bad) reason for it.
But to be indifferent to whether it makes such sense or not is to be, it
seems to me, a bad reader in VN's sense.

This point does not contradict VN's scorn for "human interest" or his
insistence that art is deception. Both are consistent with his concern for making
sense where making sense makes sense.

This aesthetic philosophy is not, incidentally, unique to VN. Goethe said
something similar.

Anthony Stadlen

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