Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025262, Mon, 7 Apr 2014 01:08:48 +0000

Re: [ADA annotations] Proust
The first’s just an oversight, Jansy, prompted by VN’s wily habits of distraction (this doesn’t look anything like the famous Proustian moment), and the second pair form an excellent subtle link I hadn’t seen. I encourage others to add to AdaOnline. When this project began I envisaged it as partly collaborative, and solicited finds. Although many have made suggestions, there could be many more, I’m sure.

Brian Boyd

On 6/04/2014, at 2:06 am, Jansy Mello <jansy.mello@OUTLOOK.COM<mailto:jansy.mello@OUTLOOK.COM>> wrote:

“Then the player delicately scooped out the earth with his stick or fingers within the roundlet. The level of that gleaming infusion de tilleul would magically sink in its goblet of earth and [52.05]finally dwindle to one precious drop. That player won who made the most goblets in, say, twenty minutes./ Van asked suspiciously if that was all./No, it was not. As she dug a firm little circle around a particularly fine goldgout, Ada squatted and moved, squatting,[52.10]with her black hair falling over her ivory-smooth moving knees while her haunches and hands worked, one hand holding the stick, the other brushing back bothersome strands of hair.”


52.04<http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/ada18.htm>: infusion de tilleul: Darkbloom: “lime tea.”

While searching for Ada’s “philosophy” I came to Brian Boyd’s annotations on line, related to the young girl’s “bridges” and “towers”. I was surprised to meet again “infusion de tilleul,” a clear reference to the most famous proustian episode concerning involuntary memories and a “madeleine” dipped in tea. I wonder why Brian didn’t mark this quote to connect it to his other Proust/Swann entries. In this early chapter, as he observed so wonderfully in AY,p.541, the author is forging his ground for the wonders of memory.

Quoting from an internet source: Et tout d’un coup le souvenir m’est apparu. Ce goût, c’était celui du petit morceau de madeleine que le dimanche matin à Combray (parce que ce jour-là je ne sortais pas avant l’heure de la messe), quand j’allais lui dire bonjour dans sa chambre, ma tante Léonie m’offrait après l’avoir trempé dans son infusion de thé ou de tilleul. La vue de la petite madeleine ne m’avait rien rappelé avant que je n’y eusse goûté ; peut-être parce que, en ayant souvent aperçu depuis, sans en manger, sur les tablettes des pâtissiers, leur image avait quitté ces jours de Combray pour se lier à d’autres plus récents ; peut-être parce que, de ces souvenirs abandonnés si longtemps hors de la mémoire, rien ne survivait, tout s’était désagrégé ; les formes – et celle aussi du petit coquillage de pâtisserie, si grassement sensuel sous son plissage sévère et dévot …


Another reference that I didn’t find now (at a first glance into http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/ today), was to Van Veen’s detailed description of the texture of time (Part IV), when his wording suggests that he might be “an epicure of duration,” and that this recognition might have been indicated already as early as in this reference to “the ramp of duration,” which comes relatively close to Ada’s towers, bridges and so on.

74.29<http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/ada112.htm>: a “bridge”: Cf. Van’s use of a bridge for a different philosophical purpose in his Texture of Time, 544-545.*

75.02<http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/ada112.htm>: the ramp of duration: Cf. 536.22: “the ramp of my argument.”


*- Cf . 545.20"Thus the term “one century” does not correspond in any sense to the hundred feet of steel bridge between modern and model towns, and that is what we wished to prove and have now proven."

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