Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025017, Tue, 21 Jan 2014 15:25:44 -0200

Re: Blind clap
Jansy Mello: Just a little note about Ivan Ivanov's being "clapped into a monastery". Might there be any reference to the common STD "gonorrhea," or "the clap", now linked with "incest"?*
* http://blogs.plos.org/neuroanthropology/2010/09/17/gonorrhea-and-the-clap-the-slap-down-treatment/ [ ] "Gonorrhea Clap, “running range,”...It begins as a little smarting when urine is passed, finally pain, swelling and a discharge that is highly contagious – the smallest bit of it in the eye may destroy vision...

Jansy Mello: Some of the references to blindness in "Ada" are probably related to "the clap" and not only to Van Veen's taking up action against his rivals*. According to him "there are three blind characters" in his novel** - not counting the babies, I suppose.

Here are two quotes on Ardis, Ashen Blanche and blindness (these interconnected subjects must be more important than, at first, I considered them to be):

‘That’s just what I was on the point of observing,’ said Van when Ada had finished relating the nasty incident. ‘Were the photos pretty filthy?’
‘Ach!’ exhaled Ada.
‘That money might have furthered a worthier cause — Home for Blind Colts or Aging Ashettes.’
[ ]By the way, where is my poor little Blanche now?’ [ ] Madame Trofim Fartukov. I would never have thought it.’
‘They have a blind child,’ said Ada.
‘Love is blind,’ said Van.
"I have just read Reflections in Sidra, by Ivan Veen... who dutifully picked up the arrows I lost in the lost shrubbery of the lost castle of poor Lucette’s and happy, happy Adette’s childhood, now a ‘Home for Blind Blacks’."


* "On the way there he acquired his second walking stick: the Ardis Hall silver-knobbed one he had left behind in the Maidenhair station cafe. This was a rude, stout article with a convenient grip and an alpenstockish point capable of gouging out translucent bulging eyes.[ ] In an equally casual tone of voice Van said: ‘Darling, you smoke too much, my belly is covered with your ashes [?]. I suppose Bouteillan knows Professor Beauharnais’s exact address...[ ]‘You shall not slaughter him,’ said Ada.[ ] That ape has vulgarized our own mind-pictures. I will either horsewhip his eyes out or redeem our childhood by making a book of it: Ardis, a family chronicle.’[ ] We may add, to complete this useful parenthesis [about Lapiner, the Baron and a Black Miller] that in early February, 1893 [ ] two other less successful blackmailers were waiting in the wings: Kim who would have bothered Ada again had he not been carried out of his cottage with one eye hanging on a red thread and the other drowned in its blood; and the son of one of the former employees of the famous clandestine-message agency..."

** - "One Spencer Muldoon, born eyeless, aged forty, single, friendless, and the third blind character in this chronicle, had been known to hallucinate during fits of violent paranoia.."

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