Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025296, Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:49:52 -0700

early birthday tribute
Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died and the papers are full of his obituaries. One paper shows him embracing Fidel Castro and quotes his rationalization (which I don't recall and won't bother you with). Borges, on the other hand, always distrusted the Marxists, which in his place and generation is remarkable. I wonder if Nabokov ever mentioned G G M? Does anybody know?

I also received in today's email an article by James Gleick (author of excellent book on Chaos) discussing the possibility of surviving death in a new body, "My Carcas, My Self."  

What made me think of Nabokov is his quote from Milton  “Books are not absolutely dead things, but doe contain a potencie of life in them to be as active as that soule was whose progeny they are; nay they do preserve as in a violl the purest efficacie and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.”

He goes on: 

Marcel Theroux uses Milton’s line from Areopagitica in his new novel, Strange Bodies; he seems to have taken it as a challenge, or an opportunity. Here’s Milton’s next sentence: “I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous Dragons teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men.” Some plot possibilities there. Before we’re done with Strange Bodies, armed men will indeed be springing up from vials.
The reader learns in the opening sentence that a man named Nicky Slopen has come back from death [and so on].
Well, doesn't this happen in at least one novel (Soglyadati, or The Eye) by VN, as it does in Dostoevsky (Son smeshnovogo Cheloveko)? Any others?

But the birthday tribute (a week, early, I know) part is the initial quote from Milton, which certainly does describe our author and his works, at least I thought soe.


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