Carolyn Kunin [ to JM's
"Nabokov wrote an "Introduction" to R.L.Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
Hyde.I'm in doubt if this "introduction" ...was not originally intended to
appear as an "introduction".If the text is not the same as the one found in VN's
Lectures on English Literature, how is it possible to get a copy of
it?"]: It is the same.
JM: Thanks, Carolyn. Nabokov's ghost seems to be
still very active under various prefatory guises.
Darryl Schade (26.12)
"Person from Porlock equals Bend Sinister..."
D.S (29.12):"If I may continue
...on a thread from my last posting: I forgot to mention Cortazar's Hopscotch...
Nabokov broke ground for so much of this experimentation-- ...I know
he was the ultimate perfectionist dictating how the reader received his
work-- but did it ever cross his mind to try something like Hopscotch, or
Michner's shuffled page Kaleidoscope, or the current incarnation of Laura
allowing us to "rearrange" at our whim?
JM: Perhaps it has crossed VN's
mind. Cf. chapter Three in "Despair": "How shall we
begin this chapter? I offer several variations to choose from. Number one
(readily adopted in novels where the narrative is conducted in the first person
by the real or substitute author)..." Nevertheless TOoL's
reshuffable cards are not a deliberate attempt by the author to have a
reader rearrange cards and plot-lines: for me it is not something that comes as
a postmodern bonus, but as an unfortunate accident. The irradiations of meanings
and Nabokovian allusions already create multiple levels of simultaneous
possible interpretations and this effect is, for me, even richer than
jumping chapters or playing Magritte.
Nowadays every novel may be shuffled
according to the reader's whim. TOoL's cards need not to have
been concretely punchable and extractable from their nest to permit
a reordering once they've been digitalized.