J. Twiggs: In an earlier message,
I recommended Ian Hackings' book on fugue states. A few minutes later, I
remembered that Hacking had also written a book on multiple personality,
Rewriting the Soul: Multiple Personality and the Sciences of Memory (Princeton,
1995). When I tracked Freud down by means of the index, I found this: "Breuer
and Freud famously asserted 'that the splitting of consciousness which is so
striking in the classical cases under the form of double conscience [i.e.,
double consciousness] is present to a rudimentary degree in every hysteria, and
that a tendency to such a dissociation, and with it the emergence of abnormal
states of consciousness (which we shall bring together under the term of
'hypnoid') is the basic phenomenon of this neurosis.'" --Hacking, p.
150-151. The quotation is from Breuer and Freud (1893), in Freud, S.E. 2:12
(emphasis in original).
JM: In relation to your earlier
message [A similar point, less kindly in tone than Sergei’s message, was
made by John Leonard when he spoke of “Nabokov’s ice-blue disdain for the
academic ninnyhammers who went snorting after his truffles.”...I stubbornly
resist all totalizing, only-I-have-the-key interpretations of Pale Fire.] I
couldn't agree more with you, although we seem to diverge on other matters.
btw: Freud wouldn't have meant that abnormal
states of consciousness (hypnoid states), double consciousness and hysteric
dissociation are synonimous of "multiple personality".
Perhaps PF's Index too, is
more informative about VN's satirical view of academic life than I'd been
giving it credit for. It carries items that remind
me of a predicament, similar to Borges', when
confronted with the Chinese encyclopaedia Heavenly Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge:
"In its distant pages it is written that animals are
divided into (a) those that belong to the Emperor, (b) embalmed ones, (c)
those that are trained, (d) suckling pigs, (e) mermaids, (f) fabulous ones, (g)
stray dogs, (h) those that are included in this classification, (i) those that
tremble as if they were mad, (j) innumerable ones, (k) those drawn with a very
fine camel's hair brush, (l) others, (m) those that have just broken a flower
vase, and (n) those that resemble flies from a distance." from Other
Inquisitions: 1937-1952, El idioma analítico de John Wilkins.
Or,as it is to be expected from any good
dictionary or book-indexes, its entries are
cross-referenced, referred to a specific item,to collection of
literary facts, biographical information and bibliographies while, at the
same time, this data never escape from
the ivory-tower fiction in which they are
A.S: [But can you see that
madness is a kind of exile? CK] For Pushkin (and, one supposes, for
Nabokov) madness was much more disastrous than exile:"The Lord forbid my going
mad. No, [a beggar's] crook and bag are not as heavy"...( the first line's
translation is by Nabokov)By the way, I like her (CK's) idea that Kinbote's
crown jewels are Shade's index cards.
S.S: I like very much your )CK) question about "crown
jewels". I think in Nabokov's case it would be rather certain memories[...]
But I don't agree that the madness is like exile - I think
in a way it is the opposite - the lucidity of suffering is absent. I remember,
Gogol in his last years, getting mad, traveled to Palestine, and was once
sitting in Nazareth under the rain thinking he is in
JM: Wonderful quote and informations:
they trim down the generalizations ("madness", "exile").
S.K-B: Jansy/Jerry: is all
this admirably painstaking geographical reconstruction rendered superfluous if
we believe that Kinbote was "not around in the flesh" to spy on
JM: Should Shade and Kinbote be "one
body; two distinct minds, one damned mind after the other"* this makes it even
more fun to pursue, since we'll be able to visualize this
(single) character's distortions or his two-minded consistency
(Shade's poem states: "Maybe some quirk in space/ Has caused a
fold or furrow to displace/ The fragile vista" and there are various
indications about "north/south/east/west"in Shade's lines that may be
taken independently of Kinbote's own description ). We
are outlining descriptions to visualize a landscape. The inside of Shade's
house, or Kinbote's Zembla also deserve
still pursuing a Nabokovian reference to Freud-Bernheim's umbrella. I found
an excerpt from an interview the National Educational Television network
conducted with Vladimir Nabokov at his home in Switzerland (produced by
Robert Hughes in 1966). Although VN mentions both Freud and umbrella,
it still is not a proof of VN's familiarity with the story of
Psychoanalysis through Bernheim and hypnosis.
Here it is:
Nabokov, would you tell us why it is that you detest Dr. Freud?
"I think he's crude, I think he's medieval, and I don't want an
elderly gentleman from Vienna with an umbrella inflicting his dreams upon me.
I don't have the dreams that he discusses in his books. I don't see
umbrellas in my dreams. Or balloons."
There is a short-story by Thomas Mann, "Mario and the Magician", where
Freud's insight is (indirectly?) developed.
Mario, a humble waiter ( I don't recollect the details), is
hypnotized by a magician during one of his shows who suggests various
things to Mario. The waiter performs them obediently. Nevertheless, when the
magician demands a kiss from Mario,thereby touching something in the
core of his being, the waiter is able to break the spell and wakes up
to kill the hypnotist. I read two interpretations where the
authors considered this story to be a wake up warning to the people
who were passively accepting nazism.
Although Nabokov detested Freud and Thomas Mann's "Death in Venice" (and
probably other works of his) I think he would sympathize with the basic
*- In ADA there is a reference that may have a bearing on this
two-in-one choice: "two chess games... on one board and in two
brains...at any middle stage of their irrevocably converging