Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0026825, Fri, 22 Jan 2016 18:34:02 -0200

Litter and lists in VN's novels...Gradiva, at last.
The litter of seashell fragments, smoothened emerald shards of glass and china, rusty bottle caps and plastic bands is mentioned in detail in “Ultima Thule”[ “Pebbles like cuckoo eggs, a piece of tile shaped like a pistol clip, a fragment of topaz-colored glass, something quite dry resembling a whisk of bast, my tears, a microscopic bead, an empty cigarette package with a yellow-bearded sailor in the center of a life buoy, a stone like a Pompeian's foot, some creature's small bone or a spatula, a kerosene can, a shiver of garnet-red glass, a nutshell, a nondescript rusty thingum related to nothing, a shard of porcelain…] and in “Speak,Memory” (they make me think of Robe-Grillet) related to a broken porcelain vase.

In “Pale Fire” Charles Kinbote reports on his peculiar trouvailles: “All three shelves and the space beneath were stuffed with disparate objects: a palette with the dregs of many sunsets; a cupful of counters; an ivory backscratcher; a thirty-twomo edition of Timon of Athens translated into Zemblan by his uncle Conmal, the Queen’s brother; a seaside situla (toy pail); a sixty-five-carat blue diamond accidentally added in his childhood, from his late father’s knickknackatory, to the pebbles and shells in that pail; a finger of chalk; and a square board with a design of interlaced figures for some long-forgotten game.” (Google led me to an interesting article by Gretchen E.Minton when I tried to find the quote (above) online: http://www.borrowers.uga.edu/782392/display ).

Van and Ada’s adventures in the attic (Ada, I,1) bring up old forgotten objects and new discussions: “Dr Krolik, our local naturalist …, has determined the example I brought back from Sacramento to Ardis, as the Bear-Foot, B,E,A,R, my love, not my foot or yours, or the Stabian flower girl’s — an allusion, which your father, who, according to Blanche, is also mine, would understand like this’ (American finger-snap). ‘You will be grateful,’ she continued, embracing him, ‘for my not mentioning its scientific name. Incidentally the other foot — the Pied de Lion from that poor little Christmas larch, is by the same hand — possibly belonging to a very sick Chinese boy who came all the way from Barkley College.’/ ‘Good for you, Pompeianella (whom you saw scattering her flowers in one of Uncle Dan’s picture books, but whom I admired last summer in a Naples museum). Now don’t you think we should resume our shorts and shirts and go down, and bury or burn this album at once, girl. Right?”

I tried to garner images and information (although I was actually more interested in references to “feet” other than Cinderella’s) to the VN-L:

“a whisk of bast”: Bast fibre (also called phloem fibre or skin fibre) is plant fibre collected from the phloem (the "inner bark", sometimes called "skin") orbast surrounding the stem of certain dicotyledonous plants. They support the conductive cells of the phloem and provide strength to the stem. Most of the economically important bast fibres are obtained from herbs cultivated in agriculture, as for instance flax, hemp, orramie, but also bast fibres from wild plants, as stinging nettle, and trees such as lime or linden, wisteria, and mulberry have been used in the past (Wikipedia); the closes image I found to it (all in metal or wood).

In the other two we find the “Navy Cut” cigarettes and, at last, the “Gradiva” plaque for the “stone like a Pompeiian foot” (which indicates most certainly Freud’s psychoanalytic study of Jensen’s novel).

The Gradiva, The woman who walks, has become a modern 20th century mythological figure. As she has sprung out of the imagination of a fictional character she may be considered unreal twice over. The fictional character in question is a young archaeologist, the protagonist of a novella by the German writer Wilhelm Jensen: Gradiva: Ein pompejanisches Phantasiestück (Gradiva: A Pompeiian Fancy. 1903).[1] He is fascinated by a female figure in an antique bas-relief and gives her the name ‘Gradiva’ after Mars Gradivus, the Roman god of war walking into battle; later, not quite certain whether he is awake or dreaming he meets her in the ruins of Pompeii.Sigmund Freud famously analysed the actions and dreams of this young archaeologist in his study: Der Wahn und die Träume in W. Jensens Gradiva (1907)” (Wikipedia).

“The foot leaves ‘an imprint… in ashes’, the ashes of Pompeii. This is the foot of the eponymous heroine of Wilhelm Jensen’s novel, Gradiva. The name “Gradiva” – literally, “the girl who steps along” – is given to a girl in a Roman bas-relief, a girl who is imagined to have been in Pompeii when the Vesuvius erupted.” / Freud: “ [she had] one foot rested squarely on the ground; the other, lifter from the ground in the act of following after, touched it only with the tips of the toes, while de sole and heel rose almost perpendicularly.” Cf. Queer Fish: Christian Unreason from Darwin to Derrida, by John Schad, Sussex Press, 2004..

https://books.google.com.br/books?id=8bFv-Zjn3RwC <https://books.google.com.br/books?id=8bFv-Zjn3RwC&pg=PA66&lpg=PA66&dq=Gradiva+Pompeii+foot&source=bl&ots=pTpqAGLScT&sig=hLRnMVLZCfOjlUTNonebVwBKLYQ&hl=pt-BR&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQ3N_f0b3KAhUKDpAKHWw1BIQQ6AEINDAE#v=onepage&q=Gradiva%20Pompeii%20foot&f=false> &pg=PA66&lpg=PA66&dq=Gradiva+Pompeii+foot&source=bl&ots=pTpqAGLScT&sig=hLRnMVLZCfOjlUTNonebVwBKLYQ&hl=pt-BR&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQ3N_f0b3KAhUKDpAKHWw1BIQQ6AEINDAE#v=onepage&q=Gradiva%20Pompeii%20foot&f=false

More here: <https://books.google.com.br/books?id=nBY_MlfoXToC&pg=PA129&lpg=PA129&dq=Gradiva+Pompeii+foot&source=bl&ots=Z0c0c2qQhy&sig=AzwM29Btt5L9I5r5ZUl70zpWYeE&hl=pt-BR&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQ3N_f0b3KAhUKDpAKHWw1BIQQ6AEILzAD#v=onepage&q=Gradiva%20Pompeii%20foot&f=false> https://books.google.com.br/books?id=nBY_MlfoXToC&pg=PA129&lpg=PA129&dq=Gradiva+Pompeii+foot&source=bl&ots=Z0c0c2qQhy&sig=AzwM29Btt5L9I5r5ZUl70zpWYeE&hl=pt-BR&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQ3N_f0b3KAhUKDpAKHWw1BIQQ6AEILzAD#v=onepage&q=Gradiva%20Pompeii%20foot&f=false

<https://books.google.com.br/books?id=nBY_MlfoXToC&pg=PA129&lpg=PA129&dq=Gradiva+Pompeii+foot&source=bl&ots=Z0c0c2qQhy&sig=AzwM29Btt5L9I5r5ZUl70zpWYeE&hl=pt-BR&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQ3N_f0b3KAhUKDpAKHWw1BIQQ6AEILzAD> After Images: Photography, Archaeology, and Psychoanalysis ... https://books.google.com.br/books?isbn... - <https://www.google.com.br/search?biw=1360&bih=643&tbm=bks&q=inauthor:%22Eric+Downing%22&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQ3N_f0b3KAhUKDpAKHWw1BIQQ9AgIMjAD> Eric Downing - 2006

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com
AdaOnline: "http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/
The Nabokov Society of Japan's Annotations to Ada: http://vnjapan.org/main/ada/index.html
The VN Bibliography Blog: http://vnbiblio.com/
Search the archive with L-Soft: https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A0=NABOKV-L

Manage subscription options :http://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=NABOKV-L