I'm not sure that the word "condensation" comes from dictare,
dicere exclusively, nor if it remains tightly tied to
this one meaning ( that would be too unusual).
In many languages it describes a physical, non verbal thickening, as
in clouded skies or one's breath in a mirror, also like in "condensed"
or, as you have it, "evaporated" milk. This sense is totally unrelated to
what is "dictated", a matter of greater or
There's no German
dictionary by me now, but I'm certain that Dichter
means poet, Gedicht, a poem and
Verdichten the process that
encompasses primitive confabulation and abstract creation of
"metaphors" ( British James Strachey, who translated Freud from the German,
chose "condensation" to express "Verdichten" and I don't imagine he would
have been the first one there).
My trivial use
of "condensation" as a thickening process, due to the convergence of
unrelated images and sensations creating fables and meanings,
was intended both as a condensation and a metaphor, i.e,
effectiveness through which words can express more than a dictionary
memorability goes way beyond what he states in his introduction to "Bend
"The term 'bend sinister' means a heraldic bar or band
drawn from the left side...This choice of title was an attempt to suggest an
outline broken by refraction, a distortion in the mirror of being, a wrong turn
taken by life, a sinistral and sinister world". The title suggests
both "emblem", aristocracy and Admiral butterflies ( it flies in full
colours along "Pale fire/'), with red bands and droplets designed by
Nature, wrong turns, sinister dicators and dumb followers, plus left-handed
sinistrality ( extended in other novels). It accomodates
interactively the reader's additional associations, rather it counts on
them to continue its growth....
A.Bouazza:Nabokov who seems to have read
everything, but I suspect that he hasn't heard of Hildebrand's book when he
wrote his "Kamera Obskura" (what you say of the Dutch "Camera Obscura" seems to
confirm that Nabokov's novel has little in common with
Unfamiliar with my present laptop I cannot google "Roland Barthes"
to confirm the French title of his work, and if it applies
to Nabokov's instrumental "camera lucida" and microscopes. Do you think
VN's original chiaro-scuro choice for this title played with those
optic instruments known since medieval days to represent 3D objects on
a bidimensional plane.
Victor Fet to
List: But this versipellous name is also
heavily present in Russian folklore and could have much earlier roots. In
Christian tradition, "volkhvs" are three Magi who saw the Star of
O. Henry's "Gifts of the Magi" Russian translation is "Dary
Jansy M: The legend you
described about "Volkh also is a son of a Serpent. His mother is a human girl,
Marfa Vseslavyevna ...Volkh could turn into an ermine "..( just like the shoes
of Cinderella and Blanche?), reminded of some of the stories written by Gogol,
but I cannot pinpoint it from memory at the moment. Gogol and old legends
"thicken" VN's wordworlds...
I was thinking along
the lines of my present "re-readings" when VN explains the metamorphoses of a
small puddle that becomes like a cilliate infusoria or as the
footprint/sole from a Friday (venus) soul: I wonder if these can be
seen as "'versipellous condensations"...