NABOKV-L post 0026761, Mon, 4 Jan 2016 12:17:35 -0200

Subject
RES: [NABOKV-L] link between hymen and death in Spring in Fialta
Date
Body
A.Sklyarenko: " In VN's story Vesna v Fialte ("Spring in Fialta," 1936) the
narrator mentions the link between hymen and death: On dit que tu te
maries,/ Tu sais que j'en vais mourir,and that melody, the pain, the
offense, the link between hymen and death evoked by the rhythm. "



Jansy Mello: Well, then. Wedding is an "hymenaeus" (it's supposed to be the
first "hymen" event in the life of a couple). Considering Nina's generosity
with men, her marriage or her virginity could not have been the focus of
Victor's intense lingering pain. What else could have prompted the link with
death he has established ? Did Victor mean physical death or his rhythmic*
experience of "little deaths" with Nina, alas too transient?



Alexey adds an interesting information and his association to a man's
marital lapsus to approaching death: "Nina was the name of Griboedov's young
wife. She became a widow five months after her marriage. In his essay
Griboedov (1929), written for the hundredth anniversary of the poet's death,
Khodasevich mentions the fact that both Griboedov and Pushkin have dropped
their engagement rings during the wedding ceremony." In Nabokov's novel,
though, Nina has been married for some time and it is she who dies in the
end: the intense sadness and cloudy forebodings permeate the entire
short-story and, in a way, it indicates something more than Nina's death. As
Alexey suggests, it points to the narrator's own sense of loss and to his
doomed intimations of supreme, thwarted, love. Perhaps the "truth that sings
in passing"** here owes its lightning appearance to the cadence of the
sentences in the novel more than to their meaning.



...........................

* It's not the first time that V.Nabokov connects the rhythm of trains to
the rhythm of a verse (so important in "Pale Fire"). Thanks to Alexey I
could discern, this time, another link, now relating verse, trains and the
motions of sex.

** VN words in a lecture about Pushkin ( Le Vrai et le Vraisemblable )


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