Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0027798, Sun, 17 Jun 2018 21:38:56 +0000

Neuroscience and "Pale Fire"
Dear List Members,
I was thrilled to read the following in yesterday's Wall St Journal:
                                                           NEW SKILLS BUILD NEW BRAIN ARCHITECTURE              Susan Pinker
    "The latest tools of neuroscience allow us to witness, as never before, the electrical flares, chemical land-slides and sluicing of water from zone to zone that alter the geography of the brain as it changes.    "Evidence of the ways neural tisssue is partially destroyed after a strok or the onset of dementia has been around for decades. But proof that missing or miswired human brains connections can grow again -- what neuroscientists call plasticity -- has so far been thin on the ground. In 2014 a study showed that for mice, novel experiences prompt almost immediate changes in white matter -- the brain's connective tissue, or highway system." [the italics are mine]
The rest of the article is worth reading, but it is in these first two paragraphs that I found confirmation of my hypothesis that in describing King Charles's escape from Zembla, Nabokov was actually describing a cerebral episode of some kind, most likely a stroke. The author of this article uses similar metaphors for brain activity and disruption as did VN lo these many years ago.
with regards from Pasadena andCarolyn

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