Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0021105, Mon, 27 Dec 2010 12:32:42 -0200

Fw: [NABOKV-L] Jane Austen, Mark Twain and Vladimir Nabokov ...
JM (PS to http://sharpelvessociety.blogspot.com/2010/12/jane-austen-mark-twain-and-vladimir.html Saturday, December 25, 2010. Text by Arnie Perlstein)

In the first place, my sincere apologies for the incorrect spelling of "entranced" in the posting where I mentioned Ada's reference to Jane Austen:"...Dr Krolik, our local naturalist, to whom you, Van, have referred, as Jane Austen might have phrased it, for the sake of rapid narrative information (you recall Brown, don't you, Smith? ..."
Here are Van's previous words related to Ada's remark: " 'I deduce,' said the boy, 'three main facts: that not yet married Marina and her. married sister hibernated in my lieu de naissance; that Marina had her own Dr Krolik, pour ainsi dire; and that the orchids came from Demon who preferred to stay by the sea, his dark-blue great-grandmother'."

Here is, also, what Nabokov wrote (LEL,Bowers, p.63) about Jane Austen: "In our dealings with Jane Austen we had to make a certain effort in order to join the ladies in the drawing room. In the case of Dickens we remain at the table with our tawny port....I think we did...have some degree of fun with her delicate patterns, with her collection of eggshells in cotton wool. But the fun was forced. We had to slip into a certain mood; we had to focus our eyes in a certain way. Personally I dislike porcelain and the minor arts, but I have often forced myself to see some bit of precious translucent china through the eyes of an expert and have discovered a vicarious bliss in the process. Let us not forget that there are people who have devoted to Jane all their lives, their ivy-clad lives..."
More information about the VN/EWilson exchanbes can be easily obtained from John Updike's Introduction to the Bowers edition.

In connection to the evils in "the queer world of verbal transmigration" and its "turpitudes" (Cf.Verses and Versions, 2008, p.2 "The Art of Translation"): "...how to describe that ideal person, the perfect translator? Let us imagine two fair countries, From and Into... the perfect translator should know the From language as well as he does the Into language. He should also be aquainted with the manners, traditions, fauna, flora and times of both countries....He should be of the same sex as his author.." (p.15). I haven't yet found Nabokov observations about women writers and poets...

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