Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025424, Wed, 28 May 2014 13:09:07 -0300

Lucette versus Ada's "demon's blood" according to Ada Online
indicators by B.Boyd
I hope I can paste from BB’s Ada Online directly at the VN-L because it
helps to reach more readily the motifs and other connections to what is
being discussed.

Here I’m interested in exploring “demon’s blood” (not hereditary, it seems,
but resulting from a blood transfusion and expressing a parody of
Romanticism too). The “Durman” mentioned in another note (Cf.
<http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/ada11.htm#3.07> 3.07-13: ) echoes Satan’s
“rebellious passions” and suggests “individualism,” but the context here is,
perhaps, unrelated to the drug described by A.Sklyarenko in BB’s notes.

Jansy Mello

<http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/ada11.htm#4.22> 4.22: Demon: From the Greek,
daimon, "a divinity," and Latin demon, "an evil spirit, a devil," a contrast
in senses characteristic of Ada. His name derives principally from the hero
of the long narrative poem Demon (begun 1828, last version completed 1841,
pub. 1856) by <http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/1801522lermontov.htm> Mikhail
Lermontov (1814-1841), and its derivatives in Russian culture, such as the
three-act opera Demon (1871) by
<http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/422rubinstein.htm> Anton Rubinstein
(1829-1894) (libretto by <http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/422viskovatov.htm>
Pavel Viskovatov, 1842-1905), the series of paintings by
<http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/422vrubel.htm> Mikhail Vrubel (1856-1910) and
the long poem Vozmezdie ("Retribution," 1911), by
<http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/532224blok.htm> Aleksandr Blok (1880-1921)
(see Levinton 1997: 333-34 and Kurganov 2001: 92-95).[ ] Levinton also
comments that in Blok's poem, "(also a 'family chronicle' in its own way)
the nickname 'Demon' is constantly applied to the father of the Hero, right
from the 'Foreword': 'In this family there is a certain "demon," the
harbinger of "individualism." . . . The second chapter must be dedicated to
the son of this "demon," the inheritor of his rebellious passions and
painful falls, the unfeeling son of our age. . . . In the third chapter
describes the death of the father, what happened to the formerly dazzling
"demon," into what an abyss this < . . . > man fell' " (Levinton's italics).
Kurganov 2001 makes a long but unconvincing case for the centrality of the
demonology of the Hebrew apocrypha to Ada(and Lolita). MOTIF:
<http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/motifs.htm#demon> demon.

<http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/ada11.htm#4.23> 4.23: Demian or Dementius:
Cf. this exchange from The Waltz Invention, written 1938: "COLONEL: I beg
your pardon, Your Demency, but I am only performing my plain duty. WALTZ: A
sonorous title. From 'demon' or 'dementia'? You're rather a grim wit" (WI
74). Nabokov added Waltz's second sentence in the English translation in
late 1965. MOTIF: <http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/motifs.htm#insanity>

<http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/ada11.htm#4.24> 4.24: Raven: In allusion to
his dark coloring, but also to "The Raven" (pub. 1845), the best-known poem
of <http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/16002poe.htm> Edgar Allan Poe
(1809-1849), the author most frequently alluded to in Lolita. Ll. 103-105
read: "And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting /
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; / And his eyes have
all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming." The famous refrain
"Nevermore" may be applied to Demon's injunction to his children in Pt.2

<http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/ada13.htm#20.18> 20.18: a strain of his
father's demon blood: This "demon blood" is a commonplace of the Romantic
era that Nabokov here gently parodies. Cf. EO, II, 152: "Byron endowed [the
spleen] with a new thrill; [Chateaubriand's] René, [Constant's] Adolphe,
[Senancour's] Oberman, and their cosufferers received a transfusion of
daemon blood." MOTIF: <http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/motifs.htm#demon>

<http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/ada13.htm#20.19> 20.19-20: not quite twenty
. . . morbid trend: her fixation on Terra, in which her morbidity of mind
first manifests itself, antedates her 1869 marriage to Demon by six years or
so, though it is the marriage that tips her over into full-blown madness.

I haven’t followd the other lead ( insanity, dementia or, as in Van and Ada
Veen, perversions).

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com

Manage subscription options: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/