NABOKV-L post 0008633, Mon, 22 Sep 2003 22:43:53 -0700

Fw: souci d'eau, Golden Ass, Beauty & the Beast
souci d'eau, Golden Ass, Beauty & the Beast
----- Original Message -----
From: Carolyn Kunin
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2003 10:50 PM
Subject: souci d'eau, Golden Ass, Beauty & the Beast

Dear Keith sZ,

>> Read 'our marsh marigold' as Lucette. .....the transformation of souci d'eau (our marsh marigold) into the asinine 'care of the water.'

It's not that simple. First of all, souci d'eau, the plant, thrives in the water, so if Lucette is identified with the plant, it doesn't make sense that she would die in water.

Also I haven't addressed Brian Boyd's linking of "assinine" and "golden" in the Rimbaud poem to Apuleius's Golden Ass. I thought he was wrong to confuse the flower/deflower of the souci d'eau with Lucius and the rose. The rose transforms the ass back into Lucius, not because it is a flower like souci d'eau is a flower, but because it is a flower sacred to Isis, into whose cult Lucius is to be initiated. On the other hand there is the Lucius/Lucette similarity and the Beauty and the Beast link, which I don't know if Brian has pursued in this context.

Au beau milieu de L'Ane d'Or is the oldest written narrative of the Tale of Cupid and Psyche -- a story that would resurface in France in 1740 as the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. There are many references to 'Beauty and Beast' in Ada.


(By the way, could you do your viola/violet/violence thing on Pale Fire?)