Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025955, Wed, 21 Jan 2015 18:29:05 +0000

Re: RES: [NABOKV-L] Darwin in Ada
I will gladly answer to Jansy and anyone else off-list.

Sterility is a possible biological consequence of consanguineous inbreeding.
See e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19367331

Victor Fet

From: Vladimir Nabokov Forum [mailto:NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU] On Behalf Of Jansy Mello
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 10:25 PM
Subject: [NABOKV-L] RES: [NABOKV-L] Darwin in Ada

V.Fet: I am attempting to explore importance of Darwin in Ada and other VN writings (beyond Podvig/Glory). I am not specifically interested in "Scrabble approach", but noticed

that both Demon and Dan Veen have nicknames starting with R, and thus abbreviate to D. "R". Veen, or in Russian transliteration, D. R. Vin. (English "R" is read as "ar"). Note hard "v" with which we Russians

customarily replace "w" in spoken English (e.g. I live in Vest Wirginia)./Their grandfather is Erasmus Veen, who is easily interpreted as Erasmus [Dar]vin./I wonder if anybody noticed this word play before. I welcome any advice

on the subject./ Van and Ada thus are not just "children of Demon" but also descendants of Darwin./"Descent with modification" is Darwin's original formula of evolutionary change. Anybody would agree that, in the case of Van and Ada, such modification, compared to direct ancestors, is profound. It will not be inherited, I am afraid.

Jansy: Dear Vest Wirginian Professor,

For the first time I saw a clue about VN's insistence on Van's (biological) sterility. What are the "profound modifications" you find in them, probably enhanced by their parents close family ties?

I remember that there's a reference to Wallace (in a spiritualist session) in "Pale Fire" but I never found any easy indication of Spencer (I'm mainly considering his approach to "morality in nature").

Why do you think VN would be more exclusively interested in Darwin? Would the play with D."R" Veen be indicative of "recessive traits"?

I'm daring to ask you these amateurish questions because I would like to learn more about those subtle clues, like the one you seem to have discovered just now, and to what they might be pointing at?
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