Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025901, Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:39:59 -0200

Re: Every writer needs a Vera ...(sending post again)
Correcting the links from former posting

Sandy Klein sends http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/every-writer-needs-a-vera-20141211-125a0d.html “Every writer needs a Vera”december 20, 2014 - 12:15AM Jane Sullivan: “ Annabel Crabb's book The Wife Drought was born from that joke women make when juggling work and family: they need a wife. But writers of both genders need something even more precious. They need a Vera.”

JM: When I found the caption "Every writer needs a Vera" a bell jingled in my mental archives. I was sure I'd seen such an expression before but I searched the VN- List for any reference to it but found nothing except an indirect one*,mainly related to the idea of “Cherchez la Femme”…

The opening lines of the present articles are memorable. Could I have read them in a prophetic dream? If so, I was frustrated then and now again because I found no comments on:

“Vera's vocation was to be married to Vladimir Nabokov and to be the mother of their son Dmitri. She did everything wives of that era were expected to do, and so much more. She was her husband's editor, translator, assistant, secretary and typist. She was his chauffeur when he went to hunt butterflies. She carried a gun to protect him and she saved Lolita from burning. She even licked his stamps. No wonder he dedicated his work to her and said he would have been nowhere without her./ Literary wives of the past (and sometimes in the present) have often been selflessly devoted to their husbands' work, but few measured up to Vera's standards. She died in 1991, but she remains the paragon all writers yearn to have. And increasingly, the yearners are women.”

In the fifties, women of Vera’s generation and “vocation” (?) were lovingly sung in Brazil under the name of an “Amelia”** who passively accepted misfortunes and was only active when the time came to defend her mate’s interests…

Vladimir Nabokov valued immensely “consciousness”, conscious awareness, attention to detail, discernment (the word “discrimination” is now lost to its more banal use). These terms were not just words for him but they represented a basic attitude towards life, at least in relation to natural phenomena and objects: these are to be observed critically - to be rejected or enjoyed with the entire being.

John Shade’s relationship with his wife was one of his most endearing traits - and I suppose this is another thing that VN shares with the old fictional poet. I already have B.Boyd’s book in my shelves and I intend to read it very soon. Stacey Shiff’s biography is book to be reread, too, since to know more about Vera is certainly a way to learn more about Vladimir N. As I see it, to discuss conflicting information about Vera is equally important.


* NEW YORK Mar 22, 2006 (AP) � Thanks to the current lawsuit against the publisher of Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," Blythe Brown has entered a pantheon whose occupants include Vera Nabokov, Olivia Twain and Tabitha King: the indispensable literary spouse.

1. text/html - LISTSERV 16.0 - NABOKV-L Archives <https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A3=ind0603&L=NABOKV-L&E=0&P=523660&B=--&T=text%2Fhtml&XSS=3&header=1>
Blythe Brown Emerges As Literary Spouse ABC News Wed, 22 Mar 2006 11:45 AMPST. Blythe Brown Emerges As Latest Indispensable Literary Spouse in Midst of 'Da Vinci Code' Lawsuit. By HILLEL ITALIE. The Associated Press.

** Ai que Saudades da Amélia

Mário Lago <http://www.vagalume.com.br/mario-lago/>
Compositor: Ataulfo Alves / Mário Lago

Nunca vi fazer tanta exigência
Nem fazer o que você me faz
Você não sabe o que é consciência
Não vê que eu sou um pobre rapaz

Você só pensa em luxo e riqueza
Tudo o que você vê, você quer
Ai meu Deus que saudade da Amélia
Aquilo sim que era mulher

As vezes passava fome ao meu lado
E achava bonito não ter o que comer
E quando me via contrariado dizia
Meu filho o que se há de fazer

Amélia não tinha a menor vaidade
Amélia que era a mulher de verdade

Ataulfo Alves / Mário Lago

Link: http://www.vagalume.com.br/mario-lago/ai-que-saudades-da-amelia.html#ixzz3MdhkJz00 <http://www.vagalume.com.br/mario-lago/ai-que-saudades-da-amelia.html>

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