Jansy, what a delicious and thought-provoking challenge.  It might take me some time but the seeds are planted.  Thank you!
JM: "although jazzistic "improvisation, humor, high wit" may also be found in various other artistic realms "
Barrie: not so sure about that, Jansy.
More soon I hope!

On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 10:43 AM, Jansy <jansy@aetern.us> wrote:
Barrie Karp [to SB: "On Nabokov and Music, the top authority is Boris Katz.  Unfortunately...the things that have come out are in Russian.  They need to be translated--or everyone needs to learn Russian (I vote for number 2!..." ] Does this authority on VN & music know and take jazz into account? improvisation, humor, high wit (and not just modernist jazz).

JM: Barrie, you raised an important point, although jazzistic "improvisation, humor, high wit" may also be found in various other artistic realms and are not a specific trait that serves to connect Nabokov and music. You stimulated me to contrast Nabokov's careful textual "chess moves" and emphasis on structure (that doesn't exclude the whisperings muses) - with "improvisation."
For one thing, his interviews (as we get them in SO or on tape) are never "spontaneous," but spontaneity is not the same as "improvisation," which comes closer to intuition and inspiration (if you can agree with that!). I'd like to challenge you to find us an example of an exhilarating moment of improvisation in Nabokov (I'm sure there are many)... We might also explore synesthesia. I just read Isaac Asimov's "Cal" (the robot who wanted to become a writer, but was hemmed by the three laws of robotics which hindered him from being cruel to the readers - and a lot more), and I'd like to quote one sentence from it, after a technician installed in him a special "spelling dictionary and a grammar." Cal wrote: "I had never been able to read easily before, but now as soon as I looked at the words, I could her them in my ear...I couldn't imagine how I had been unable to do it before." How puzzling! That's not how I "hear" Nabokov, inspite of being eerily affected by his use of signifiers...
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