Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000142, Sat, 13 Nov 1993 15:41:09 -0800

Jeff Edmunds' Question re:red into green (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 93 14:31:56 CST
From: ted ficklen <SWGFICK@UMSLVMA.bitnet>
To: Nabokv-l <NABOKV-L@UCSBVM>
Subject: Jeff Edmunds' Question re:red into green

Well, I finally got ahold of Transparent Things. Nabokov calls the
transference "some mnemoptical trick." Jeff is right, it doesnt sound
like Nabokov is describing the afterimage on the retina. Its a trick
of memory rather than retinal physiology.

As I read further into the book, and I havent finished it yet, Nabokov's
theme seems to involve a kind of perceptual agnosia, the loss of ability
to recognize or properly orientate objects in space. Studies of this seem
restricted to patients with various kinds of lesions on the brain. (See
Oliver Sacks' popular study, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.)
It seems likely, though, that various forms of mild or temporary agnosia
might occur with age, depression, or fatigue.

For further reference, see the works of Oliver Sacks, esp. the above, or
for a more technical approach, try Visual Agnosias by O. Grusser and T.
Landis, CRC Press, 1991.

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Ted Ficklen
University of Missouri - St Louis


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