Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025543, Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:31:53 -0300

RES: [NABOKV-L] CCL: Title, Kafkaian undertones and efficiency
L.Hochard: A few remarks about § 3&4 of Cloud, Castle, Lake: The trip
doesn't start so badly after all. The weather on that morning is not
unpleasant [ ]The short description of the weather in Berlin is strongly
reminiscent of and reads like an abstract of the atmosphere imbued with
sensuality described at length in the opening § of Spring in Fialta [ ]
Vasiliy Ivanovitch is a poet of the Lensky kind, I think. "The really good
life", he thinks, "must be oriented toward something or someone". Compare it
to a variant to Canto 2 stanza VII of Eugene Onégine where Pushkin
introduces Lensky: he knew both work and inspiration/ and the refreshment of
repose/ and toward something a young life's/ indescribable urge quoted by
VN in his commentary, where, VN writes, Pushkin describes "the nature of
that young and mediocre poet in the idiom Lensky himself uses in his
elegies, an idiom [...] blurred by the drift of unfocused words."

Jansy Mello: In a former posting, dated 15 Sep 2013 (“Idle Thoughts”:
https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A2=nabokv-l;b6aee1e2.1309 ) I wrote
something that exactly describes the feeling I have in relation to the
static scenery in Cloud, Castle, Lake (its hidden dimension). I had
forgotten all about this conclusion but, luckily for me, it popped up today
by accident. I hope you Nablers won’t mind my resurrecting those idle
thoughts of mine…

'A psychoanalyst (W.R.Bion) once described a sculpture whose structure was
built in such a way as to "trap the light." The spectator would have to
forget the structure to be able to see the luminous shapes which were the
actual object of [this work]. For me, at times, the same thing happens when
I read Nabokov. I have to forget the written scaffolding to find what its
shadows and lights allow me to see, inspite of all the devilish enjoyment
that his verbal exposition and fireworks yield to me [snip].”

But this verbal scaffolding and the devilish enjoyment with hidden
allusions, criticism and wit shouldn’t be forgotten, as demonstrated by LH’s

Why would the narrator suggest that Vasiliy’s sensibility is equivalent to a
mediocre poet’s unfocused words? Maybe there are silent poets… (I have in
mind: “while the scientist sees everything that happens in one point of
space, the poet feels everything that happens in one point of time”-
Speak,Memory, Chapter XI).” Interesting connection to the sensuousness
(and, in a way, timelessness) of Spring in Fialta.

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