Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023564, Sat, 5 Jan 2013 23:50:02 +0000

Re: Nabokov} Wiki article on apohenia and pareidolia in Signs and
My daughter, Michele Coxon (quid googlet) offers this example of religious
pareidolia. Sad FACT: this is MY LEFT FOOT. Pilgrimage tours to Oswestry,
Salopia, UK, being planned.

Jansy¹s helpful links remind us (or should?) of the impact of SR (Special
Relativity), GR (General Relativity) and QT (Quantum Theory) on the central,
enduring mysteries relating ³physical reality² with ³human observation.²

More Nabokovians really should know the historical basics of these three
MAJOR 20th century revolutions if they want to understand & diagnose VN¹s
sporadic allusions and strongly-misplaced strong opinions.

Jim Baggott¹s The Quantum Story: A History in 40 Moments is a
highly-readable, popular narrative, with essential biographical insights ...
Scientists behaving badly!
Russell Stannard¹s Relativity, A Very Short Introduction less so, but

BTW: I have just checked the index of Brian Boyd¹s The Russian Years (never
far, with The American Years, from my canonical bed-side designated tomb!).
No entries for ³Einstein,² ³Relativity,² ³Quantum,² ³Euler,² ³Mathematics.²
Still, as the Iraqi weapons inspector said, ³Absence of evidence is not
evidence of absence.²
The entry on ³Popper, Sir Karl² (page 169) is an exciting, unexpected
compensation. I anxiously await BB¹s forthcoming biography of Popper, where
I¹m sure my two favourite EX- (later to become ANTI-) Popperians, Imre
Lakatos and Paul Feyerabend will enlighten the action! Paul & Imre have left
us an intriguing exchange of letters/debates where they disagree with Popper
and with each other. The latter is conducted with fun and friendship ... A
lesson to all dissenting philosophers.

BTW^2: My Kindle progress-counter indicates that I¹m 48% through Barbara
Wyllie¹s Vladimir Nabokov (Critical Lives). No index, alas but many
search/crossref tools peculiar to e-books. I look forward to a careful
comparison with BB¹s biography, esp. on VN¹s Irina Guadanini affaire. I¹ll
follow up BW¹s link to SES¹s ³Postscript to a Purloined Letter² (The
Nabokovian, 29 1992). So many gaps in my knowledge ... So little time.

I can enjoy, but mistrust, VN¹s opinions on mathematics and Freud. VN¹s
opinions on Dostoyevsky and Gorky are more ³trustworthy² (grounded on
knowledge), but TRUE Nabokovians* will use their own judgements, aware of
Popper¹s warnings of the dangers of authoritarianISM (one of many ISMs to
shun! InductivISM is esp. fatal. I¹ve coined SNEERISM as naughty but nice.)
Likewise, a lepidopterist taxonomy from Einstein or Dirac ... Yes, there
are domains of expertise outside of which all should exercise humble
caution. This is NOT easy, or even NATURAL, given our innate reluctance to
admit to our LACUNAE!

* Check out Antony Flew¹s NO TRUE SCOTSMAN at

Dmitry (RIP) was dutifully prompt on this Forum in defending pater against
my comment that VN occasionally strongly-opinionated outside his (VN¹s)
proven domains of ³authority.² This specifically applied to VN (an appendix
to Lectures on Literature) extending ³arithmetic² (a boring enemy of the
creative mind?) to the vast, wondrous, abstract fields of ³mathematics.²
To quote Wolfgang Pauli¹s infamous rebuttal ³This is not even WRONG!²
Why this GULF between mathematicians and non-mathematicians? Pre-wired
Nature or environmental Nurture? My immediate and grand-offsprungs (a sample
of 13) offer inconclusive evidence.
Don¹t Discuss!

Within all scientific domains, in fact, there¹s no end of violent ³expert
dissent² offering irresistible temptation for ³outsiders² to venture their
speculative penn¹orth.

More, or less, anon. 2013 shows promise ... So far.
Stan Kelly-Bootle

On 03/01/2013 00:14, "Jansy Mello" <jansybsmello@HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:

> Another random find [ with a loose reference to Nabokov and ³Signs and
> Symbols² (only!!!)], thanks to Dr.Temperance Brenner (³Bones²) who mentions
> the word ³pareidolia² in one of her comic/serious episodes*.
> Postmodern novelists and film-makers have reflected on apophenia-related
> phenomena, such as paranoid narrativization or fuzzy plotting (e.g., Vladimir
> Nabokov's "Signs and Symbols", Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and V.,
> Alan Moore's Watchmen, Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose and Foucault's
> Pendulum, William Gibson's s narrative is one of our major cognitive
> instruments for structuring reality, there is some common ground between
> apophenia and narrative fallacies such as hindsight bias. Since pattern
> recognition may be related to plans, goals, and ideology, and may be a matter
> of group ideology rather than a matter of solitary delusion, the interpreter
> attempting to diagnose or identify apophenia may have to face a conflict of
> interpretations.
> Apophenia and Pareidolia - Wiki article
> * There are also references to Lolita fashion in Japanese models posing as
> Poppy¹s Puffs... the usual stereotype.

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