Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024484, Fri, 16 Aug 2013 09:30:03 -0300

Re: Mephisto in Ada
A. Sklyarenko: "From Manhattan, via Mephisto, El Paso, Meksikansk and the Panama Chunnel, the dark-red New World Express reached Brazilia and Witch (or Viedma, founded by a Russian admiral). (2.2)...Ved'ma ("The Witch," 1886) is a story by Chekhov...."

Jansy Mello: The demonic,mephistophelic, satanic, bewitched, devilish allusions continue to puzzle me. What could have been VN's point in bringing them up so insistently? When, recently, Sklyarenko brought up from LATH the name of a fictional location in Europe ( Diablonnet ) I couldn't help associating it to "diablo" (devil in Spanish).

While roaming in search for other links I came across a paper online related to Nabokov's metaphors and metonymy in Transparent Things.* While she develops her theories, she includes LATH's "Diablonnet" suggestion of the Russian "yabloni" (apples ) and connects the town to a place in the Swiss mountains, "les Diablerets", before proceding with the "forbidden fruit" associations to "sin." (the article is in German, so I haven't read it with the exception of its first lines - but it looks promising to me due to its psychoanalytic references and what seems to be a wordplay related to "madness" and "displacement" right at the title "Ver-ruckungen..".)

It just occurred to me that (if?) VN seldom mentions "wizzards," thus favoring "conjuror", "magician" and "enchanter" instead. And I wonder why, among various references to Goethe's works, I cannot remember a single suggestive indication of his "Faust" (please correct me anyone if I'm way off the mark qua demonic encounters)

* - Rebecca Haubrich- Brown University, German Studies, Graduate Student: "Kryptische Ver-ruckungen. Zu Metonymie und Metapher als linguistische Symptome in Nabokovs 'Transparent Things'."

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