Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024361, Tue, 25 Jun 2013 10:10:43 -0300

Re: reply to Jansy re metamorphoses
Mary H. Efremov "exile abounds in VN's writing...most of his Russian characters are ex-pats, the dream of a nobleman to see buckwheat in bloom inspires the young man in glory,all of the nostalgia and dreams of the past, are about losing one's beloved home( and past).".

Jansy Mello: Reading M.H.E's observation that "exile abounds in VN's writing," I was reminded of how contagious an ex-patriate's nostalgia can be. The Lieder my great-grandparents valued ( Goethe's "Nur wer die Sennsuch kennt weiss was Ich leide" or the popular "nun ade Du mein lieb Heimatland", aso) still strike a "nostalgic" note in my heart (an echo of the Romantic spirit that moved them at that time).
Mary's observation about "losing one's past" is pertinent and, in VN's case, it's a central issue, together with his writer's distress at having to abandon his native Russian and write in another language and cultural context*.
However the XXIth Century world is, in a way, the world of exiles (voluntary or involuntary, spatial or ideological), often experienced in all sorts of non-literary ways. . .

* - From the recently mentioned article by Vladimir Zoric "Radiating Nests: metalingual Tropes in Poetry of Exile": "There is, meanwhile, another trope of unhomeliness in modernist perceptions of language, one according to which the very act of signification represents a trespass in a foreign land. The world we once dully tried to objectify through the use of symbolic substitutes has changed its aspect: it cannot house us anymore. or, as Rilke acknowledged in “The Duino Elegies” (“Duineser Elegien”): “wir nicht sehr verläßlich zu Haus sind / in der gedeuteten Welt” ( “we don’t feel very securely at home / in this interpreted world.”)

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