Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025697, Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:17:15 -0300

RES: [NABOKV-L] Story Discussion proposal and a Pop Culture
EDNote: A few weeks ago, a subscriber requested a new story discussion, as
was done with "Signs and Symbols" in June. I asked for a suggestion, but did
not receive one...so I propose "Spring in Fialta" for paragraph-by-paragraph
discussion. Of course, the entire story should be read before discussing the
sequential paragraphs, but I propose that we stick to discussion of the
first paragraph or two until at least Wednesday.

Jansy Mello: As a starter, I checked in Akiko Nakata's paper to bring up at
least two initial items:

"Fialta, an Adriatic resort whose name is a blend of Fiume and Yalta (Boyd
Russian Years, 426), is associated with violets via fialka, the Russian word
for violet (Lee 33, Parker 131). The first association of Fialta with
violets occurs near the beginning of the story: "I am fond of Fialta [.]
because I feel in the hollow of those violaceous syllables [ ] and because
the altolike name of a lovely Crimean town is echoed by its viola" A Failed
Reader Redeemed: "Spring in Fialta" and The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
Akiko Nakata, Nagoya, Japan

Btw: Fiume, in Italian, means "river". The quote from its second paragraph
stimulates synesthesia (sensations of dampness, colors, sounds, smells.)
and, like the first, relies heavily on "personification/animation" devices.

I suppose the word "viola" not only sends us back to the damp purple
aromatic violets, but also to the musical instrument.

Another indirect reference to violaceous colors might also indicate Lent and
the resurrection of Christ (the forty-days interval between Mardi-Gras and

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