Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025299, Sat, 19 Apr 2014 13:49:23 -0700

Re: RES: [NABOKV-L] early birthday tribute
Dear Jansy,

I think I may have unintentionally confused. The book under review* from which I quoted, has a character who returns from the dead. The reviewer of the book quotes Milton - so the bodily survival of a character is of a different nature from that described by Milton.

The bodily survival reminded me of The Eye (haven't read TT) and the Milton quote reminded me of its author.

Hoping you are not as befuddled as before?

*The review of Marcel Theroux's Strange Bodies may be found at     http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/apr/16/my-carcass-myself

From: Jansy Mello <jansy.mello@OUTLOOK.COM>
Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2014 12:21 PM
Subject: [NABOKV-L] RES: [NABOKV-L] early birthday tribute

C. Kunin: “…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.”
[snip] 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?
Jansy Mello: A very apt quote as a tribute to Nabokov’s birthday celebrations: sometimes the written word, an artist’s wordworld, may be as “immortal” and as contagious as a virus…( I just realized that I was repeating Laurie Anderson’s song,*  but, on second thoughts, no… I wasn’t).  
However, this “essential” survival is unlike the one we encounter in VN’s “The Eye.”  VN’s own conscious awareness and sensibility are no longer available, either to him or to us. 
Any others? How about the “voice” saluting Hugh Person in “Transparent Things”?

Language Is A Virus

Is exactly like
Where you are right now
Only much much
Language!  It's a virus!
Language!  It's a virus!
The one below is more apt for this occasion:
Born, Never Asked Laurie Anderson
It was a large room. 
Full of people. 
All kinds. 
And they had all arrived at the same buidling at more or less the same time. 
And they were all free. 
And they were all asking themselves the same question: 
What is behind that curtain? 
You were born. 
And so you're free. 
So happy birthday.

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