NABOKV-L post 0006185, Sat, 27 Oct 2001 11:31:51 -0700

Re: Query: VN, Angels, Fechner, William James (fwd)
EDITOR's NOTE. See my comment at end.


German Transcendentalists who worked in comparative anatomy (for example
K. G. Carus) believed the sphere was the archetype from which diversity
evolved. Nabokov's writings on lepidoptery show that he was very much
aware of 19th C German Transcendental biology. N tended to favor the
sober teleomechanism of say von Baer over the mystical
_Naturphilosophie_ of the likes of Carus.

Side-note. William James would have learned about Transcendentalism
first through Emerson. Cf. Emerson's eye.


Victoria Alexander

Original Message:
From: Donald B. Johnson
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2001 11:52:46 -0700
Subject: Query: VN, Angels, Fechner, William James (fwd)

EDITOR'S NOTE. What catches my eye here in particular is the reference
the William James essay on Fechner in a volume called _A Pluralistic
A report on this would be appreciated.
EDITOR's NOTE. I would point out that

Query: Has anyone studied Nabokov╢s metaphors about the "Eye" in
comparison with Gustav Fechne╢s theories about Angels which, for him,
as "Superior
Beings" should be spherical and similar to eyes? Having lived in
Germany it is possible that VN had been acquainted with this
psychophysicist who, when working as a scientist, studied sense-organs
and the measurement about
the fringes of our sensorial responses to the world. From Fechner,
Freud borrowed his model for the dream as taking place in a particular
kind of reality comprising " another scene".
There is an interesting article about G.Fechner written by William James
"Concerning Fechner", in A Pluralistic Universe, 1909). I don╢t know if
Fechner╢s book has been published in English and its title should read
something like
" About the Comparative Anatomy of the Angels" ( !!)

Thank you, Jansy.


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