we really must end this dated nonsense that
[name-your-pet-language] is particularly (nay, uniquely) blessed with ‘elegance’
or ‘expressiveness’ or [name-your-pet-predicate].... ALL natural languages (we
include creoles but exclude pidgins) are equally difficult, and at the same
time, equally simple (in that children worldwide acquire their ‘mother-tongue’
equally painlessly and at approximately the same speed [see Chomsky et al])...
Thousands of lecture students and visiting scholars (not to mention Dmitri) can
attest to VN’s off-the-cuff spontaneous wit in perfectly ‘native’ English
(howbeit with some residual Russian intonations) [...]Meanwhile, I admit to
being thrilled, and siding with Jansy’s word-mysticism, when I find Nabokov
extolling “The Russian word [for the Padus racemosa] with its fluffy and
dreamy syllables, admirably suits this beautiful tree ...” [...] As explored
deeply by VN in his EO commentaries, the different stress patterns in English
and Russian greatly influence the prosodial possibilities. BTW: Russian Prosody
was another area where Wilson and VN disagreed quite
JM: Stan mentioned
"Jansy's word-mysticism" and he also broached upon Nabokov's
frequently contradictory remarks - which might encompass his explicit
rejection of Plato and Malcolm Bradbury's description of him as a
Perhaps VN favored a nominalist view at
times but, in other occasions, was he not a "Realist" too?
In my case, I fear I suffer under
"word-fetichism", not mysticism, because I often cannot unglue from a
particularly felicitous quote from Nabokov under his hugoesque visionary
ability achieved by "un long, immense et déraisonné dérèglement de tous
les sens," and his successful "poetic prose."
One oft-quoted line, the precision of poetry and the
intuition of science is, perhaps, an indirect response to
dejected and similarly "dérèglè" Rimbaud, when he wrote "L' Eternité" ( although
in it we get "patience", not "intuition" or "precision" to couple with
science in a poem): "Là pas d'espérance,/ Nul orietur./ Science avec patience,/Le
suplice est sûr.// Elle est retrouvée./ Quoi? - L'eternité./ C'est la mer allée/
Avec le soleil." to reach spinal-thrills and
btw: no comments on the neat eight-degree
connection bt. Derzhavin/Watts/Crocodile Tears &
PS: C.Kunin: I
request that the editor politely suggest that list members employ a reasonable
font size in postings to the list. Jansy's can be itsy-bitsy but at least
they are easy to expand to a legible...
response: I think font size is
an issue that has disturbed some subscribers; I think it is unlikely that we
will want to impose conformity upon contributors, when there is so much variety
among how messages appear in different browsers, on different screen
Inexpert suggestion by an Outlooker:
To correct my visions I press
either "reply" or "forward" and then I unformat
everything, even before I choose how I'm going to proceed after
being deprived of a "rich text,html" option. The "delete button"
works more efficiently, too.