Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0026783, Sun, 10 Jan 2016 03:06:32 +0000

Fw: [NABOKV-L] RES: [NABOKV-L] ophiological chill,
ghosts... differences in translation - correction
I don't know if you remember the stuff I wrote about Spring In Fialta in the fall of 2014, I think, but in that stuff, discussing the first six paragraphs of the story I discussed at length the myth of St. George as it referred to Fialta's scenic mountain and how this myth was a subtext for the story with Victor as a failed St. George, Nina a non virginal sacrifice to the dragon of Nina's husband. Thus I would guess the meaning is meant toward the serpent end as Ferdinand is, at the end of a the story, referred to as a "basilisk of fate" which as a reptilian image fits with dragon. A serpent would as well. It also makes a direct connection between all yellows in the story and Ferdinand's inhuman nature, right? Or have you already considered all this and I missed a step in the emails? I don't want to be repeaty

On Saturday, January 9, 2016 6:01 PM, Jansy Mello <jansy.mello@OUTLOOK.COM> wrote:

#yiv1441102646 #yiv1441102646 -- filtered {panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;}#yiv1441102646 filtered {font-family:Calibri;panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4;}#yiv1441102646 filtered {font-family:Garamond;panose-1:2 2 4 4 3 3 1 1 8 3;}#yiv1441102646 filtered {font-family:Consolas;panose-1:2 11 6 9 2 2 4 3 2 4;}#yiv1441102646 p.yiv1441102646MsoNormal, #yiv1441102646 li.yiv1441102646MsoNormal, #yiv1441102646 div.yiv1441102646MsoNormal {margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;font-size:11.0pt;}#yiv1441102646 h1 {margin-top:12.0pt;margin-right:0cm;margin-bottom:0cm;margin-left:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;font-size:16.0pt;color:#2E74B5;font-weight:normal;}#yiv1441102646 h2 {margin-top:2.0pt;margin-right:0cm;margin-bottom:0cm;margin-left:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;font-size:13.0pt;color:#2E74B5;font-weight:normal;}#yiv1441102646 a:link, #yiv1441102646 span.yiv1441102646MsoHyperlink {color:blue;text-decoration:underline;}#yiv1441102646 a:visited, #yiv1441102646 span.yiv1441102646MsoHyperlinkFollowed {color:purple;text-decoration:underline;}#yiv1441102646 p {margin-right:0cm;margin-left:0cm;font-size:12.0pt;}#yiv1441102646 pre {margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;font-size:10.0pt;}#yiv1441102646 p.yiv1441102646MsoListParagraph, #yiv1441102646 li.yiv1441102646MsoListParagraph, #yiv1441102646 div.yiv1441102646MsoListParagraph {margin-top:0cm;margin-right:0cm;margin-bottom:0cm;margin-left:36.0pt;margin-bottom:.0001pt;font-size:11.0pt;}#yiv1441102646 span.yiv1441102646Ttulo1Char {color:#2E74B5;}#yiv1441102646 span.yiv1441102646Ttulo2Char {color:#2E74B5;}#yiv1441102646 span.yiv1441102646Pr-formataoHTMLChar {font-family:Consolas;}#yiv1441102646 span.yiv1441102646HTML {}#yiv1441102646 p.yiv1441102646HTML0, #yiv1441102646 li.yiv1441102646HTML0, #yiv1441102646 div.yiv1441102646HTML0 {margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;font-size:11.0pt;}#yiv1441102646 span.yiv1441102646EstiloDeEmail25 {color:windowtext;}#yiv1441102646 span.yiv1441102646msonormal0 {}#yiv1441102646 span.yiv1441102646EstiloDeEmail27 {font-variant:normal;color:black;text-transform:none;text-decoration:none none;vertical-align:baseline;}#yiv1441102646 span.yiv1441102646EstiloDeEmail28 {font-variant:normal;color:black;text-transform:none;text-decoration:none none;vertical-align:baseline;}#yiv1441102646 span.yiv1441102646EstiloDeEmail29 {font-variant:normal;color:black;text-transform:none;text-decoration:none none;vertical-align:baseline;}#yiv1441102646 .yiv1441102646MsoChpDefault {font-size:10.0pt;}#yiv1441102646 filtered {margin:2.0cm 42.5pt 2.0cm 3.0cm;}#yiv1441102646 div.yiv1441102646WordSection1 {}#yiv1441102646 Elaborating on:A . Sklyarenko writes: “In Vesna v Fialte (1936), the Russian original of VN’s story “Spring in Fialta,” the narrator mentions ofiologicheskiy kholodok (an ophiological chill) that he experienced when Ferdinand’s new book touched his hand [   ] Ophiology is the branch of herpetology dealing with snakes. [  ]… actually the automobile was still standing quite motionless, smooth and whole like an egg[  ]” The narrator compares Segur’s automobile to an egg. Like birds, snakes hatch out of the eggs [  ]
Jansy Mello: A.Sklyarenko’s highlights brought up the Russian reference to “ophiology” (the study of serpents) that is absent in the English translation[   ]… while describing the yellow automobile, V.Nabokov borrows images that suggest flight (like the mythological Icarus and insects like beetles) intermingled with stationary eggs and writhing reptiles. Why did he blend such forms, bringing together the vertebrate and invertebrate worlds?  I tried to reach a composite image…settled on the wings of an Atlas moth with its scary serpent heads on the tip of its wings …  Jansy Mello: Scientific discipline doesn’t usually determine how readers should interpret a literary text. However, V. Nabokov’s own rigor as a scientist usually weighs on the way his sentences should be understood: did Nina’s “postcard and egg,” which were sent during the Easter holidays (in the Russian original) and were here considered in association to Segur’s yellow Icarus, allow the reader to imagine a serpent’s, not a chicken’s, egg (besides, insects also lay eggs)? In the story the yellow automobile figuratively hatches two reptiles (Ferdinand and Segur), justifying  A. Sklyarenko’s interpretation as quoted above (together with the initial introduction of “ophiology” related to Ferdinand’s new book). And yet, the initial description of the car only indicates a scarab contour and the egg in the sentence is mainly used to create the image of “ smooth wholeness” and  it doesn’t necessarily imply any reference to a living thing.
Am I right to follow the present associative trend to endorse and then question VN’s mixed metaphors (Jorge Borges would describe them as a consequence of “a nod in a metaphor”  or a “nodding metaphor”…), “inadequately” joining vertebrates (reptiles and birds) and invertebrates (insects)? Is it correct to go on fantasizing, trusting V.N’s acumen and rigor, until the actual image of a “natural mixture” can be obtained, like the “Atlas Moth” with its two yellow serpent heads figured in its wings?   (I mean, I’m forcing an interpretation onto actual facts until I reach one that I consider to be satisfactory for my needs, instead of simply accepting that neither serpents nor incorrect natural images are used in Nabokov’s short story?  The representations of “reincarnation” and afterlife that are associated to the moth and are reinforced in V. Nabokov’s other story (“Christmas”), compared with V. Nabokov’s feelings about death and the transitoriness of terrestrial life as they were conveyed by the narrator, do they confirm my reader’s fantasy or not?    Today it occurred to me that I have another literary fact in my favor. When V. Nabokov substituted the easter egg for a Christmas card with snow and stars in his translation to English, could he not be indicating, then, the Atlas Moth that figures so prominently in “Christmas” by choosing to substitute one Christian festivity for the other? However, this construction would elude readers that are not familiar with the Russian original.   
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