Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000748, Sat, 7 Oct 1995 10:05:38 -0700

Freud's umbrella (fwd)
Concerning Nabokov and Freud's umbrella. There is a young and gifted
German scholar, Michael Maar, who just has published a book on Thomas Mann
and Hans Christian Andersen (basically his PhD thesis, University of
Bamberg). Maar also is an ardent admirer of Nabokov and has written very
insightful articles on him, notably an essay on "Pnin" in the "Frankfurter
Allgemeine." He intends to devote his next book entirely to Nabokov. In
his present book ("Geister und Kunst", Munich: Hanser, 1995, p. 270) there
are several references to Nabokov, and it so happens that one concerns the
remark on Freud's umbrella. I translate (quick & dirty): "If you do not
understand the reference, [to Andersen's fairy tale 'Ole Lukoie'--(I don't
know and cannot check how that is transcribed into English)] you might
misunderstand this remark as an expression of class arrogance. But
it is not supposed to imply that Freud could not afford a new umbrella but
instead refers to the god of children's dreams and the only true holder of
umbrellas. The enigmatic allusion does not give any hint, except by its
enigmatic mien, that Nabokov is quoting a good genius of his... who
tacitly contributed to many of his works."

I am just passing this on, without vouching for the Andersen

Dieter E.Zimmer, Hamburg,
Germany, e-mail 100126.2576@compuserve.com