Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0022469, Fri, 24 Feb 2012 14:30:03 -0500

Re: Gogol: correction of a quote

In a message dated 24/02/2012 18:07:18 GMT Standard Time, jansy@AETERN.US

The quote I copied down too hastily from VN's Gogol, is to be found on
page 119 (Nikolai Gogol, New Directions, 1961).

"A mere string of figures will disclose the identity of the stringer as
neatly as tame ciphers yielded their treasure to Poe. The crudest curriculum
vitae crows and flaps its wings in a style peculiar to the undersigner. I
doubt whether you can even give your telephone number without giving
something of yourself."

Nabokov's relation to Freud is a bit like that of Humbert to Quilty. Did VN
not realise how close this charming observation was to what SF said in
The Psychopathology of Everyday Life? Again and again, the evidence points to
his reading -- let alone any possible re-reading -- of Freud as not having
been very thorough.

Anthony Stadlen

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