Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023387, Fri, 12 Oct 2012 23:10:45 -0300

Re: THOUGHT: VN's ghosts... and PNIN
Anthony Stadlen: "...am I alone in finding this business of committees of ghosts attending to the destinies of the quick so idiosyncratic and trivial as to be a real turn-off? I enjoyed the bit about Tolstoy and the acrostic in The Vane Sisters, but if it becomes the underlying metaphysics of his oeuvre, so to speak, it just seems silly..."

Jansy Mello:T.Ponomareva wrote about "ghost-related riddles," before she quoted Pnin's "He did not believe in an autocratic God. He did believe, dimly, in a democracy of ghosts. The souls of the dead, perhaps, formed committees, and these, in continuous session, attended to the destinies of the quick." I got the
impression that she wasn't considering our author's personal beliefs in ghosts, nor any underlying metaphysics affecting his writing.
The acrostic in The Vane Sisters is an almost amusing trick, it's not really revelatory of an unknown piece of wisdom. Hazel's ghost-cum-butterfly crossing over to the land of the quick, in order to inspire Shade & Kinbote, could be an hyberbolic rendering of the meaning of the Greek word "psyche".
If Aunt Maud's ghost sends blurred messages due to her speech impairment, how could poor muddled (dislexic?) Hazel function as a muse?

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com

Manage subscription options: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/