Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023643, Wed, 6 Feb 2013 18:33:41 -0200

Re: War and Peace
Carolyn Kunin: Who is Ada? Literally 'she who must be obeyed' or 'the lady from Hell.' Who is Ada? [ah, da!] A poisoner? certainly. A femme fatale? Most definitely. Greedy? Insatiable? Yes, she is all those things. But she is also a great scientist, a consummate gameswoman (see the current film version of Anna Karenina to see how she and Van played a much more interesting game than Scrabble) and most important, she is much loved - firstly by her brother, who only fantasizes a sexual relationship with the one woman who was not in love with him - but by everyone who encounters her. The clue to her power is her name. A palindrome, a pun, a miror image and a mirror. Who hates her? Her author. Why? I have no idea. [ ] ps She also goes by other names Mrs Percy de Prey, and is she not also perhaps Mrs Ronald Oranger? In other words, is she not immortal? Lilith herself perhaps?

Jansy Mello: Dear Carolyn ( Hi!) Your reply to the query "Who is Ada?" was unexpected and complex.
I was thinking, at first, about Ada's cosmopolitan (un)Russian attitudes, and trying to learn more about what is her mother tongue and.country of birth (neutral Switzerland?), even in the transformed world of Antiterra, prejudiced in favor of the usual patriotic allegiances and nationalities. Crimea capitulates, Percy de Prey dies fighting for his(?) country...
Official family trees seem to be the main reference in Antiterra, inspite of adulteries!
Did Ada indeed enchant everyone who encounters her? Her list of suitors and lovers is not very impressive, at least in the eyes of Van.
Did I read you correctly, meaning that Van loved her, but fantasized sexual encounters with another woman who wasn't in love with him (who was this woman?
I'm confused, as you can easily witness.

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