NABOKV-L post 0025937, Tue, 13 Jan 2015 23:06:46 -0200

Great stories being told and told again...
ANUARY, 2015

od-poisoning/> Nabokov Gets Food Poisoning and Flees from the Hospital via
Fire Escape: History’s Most Entertaining Account of “Homeric Retching”

By: <> Maria Popova

“I returned to my microscope around two. Exactly at 2:30, I suddenly felt an
urge to vomit, had barely time to run outside — and there it began.”

<> Some
weeks ago, I found myself wholly incapacitated by my very first experience
of food poisoning — a fact heartening in the abstract awareness that I had
gone this many decades without enduring such an incapacitating episode, but
utterly exasperating in its immediate bodily concreteness. Apart from the
obvious gastrointestinal peril one imagines — but always imagines
insufficiently in the face of the reality — I also found myself blindsided
by the complete mental incapacitation resulting from the extreme physical
weakness, as if the gut had somehow colluded with the brain in staunchly
defying command and seceding from the rest of the being. Since writing was
out of the question — an act that requires, above all, full access to one’s
own brain and the seamless firing of the associative chains therein — I
decided to distract myself with some light reading from a heavy book resting
atop my bedside pile, which happened to be
Letters to Véra(
results> public library) — the same volume that gave us Nabokov’s
exquisite love letters to his wife and was among the
oks-2014/> best memoirs, biographies, and history books of 2014. Imagine my
utter shock — so much so that I at first considered it a poisoning-induced
hallucination — when I split the hefty tome in about half, opening to a
random page, on which began Nabokov’s wildly entertaining account of his
first food poisoning.

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