On a Nabokov poem (The New Yorker, Jan. 27,1951)*  -  "Voluptates Tactionum"
" Some inevitable day
On the editorial page of your paper
It will say, "Tactio has come of age."

When you turn a knob
Your set will obligingly exhale forms,
Invisible yet tangible -
A world in Braille.

Think of all the things
That will really be within your reach!
Phantom bottle,
Dreamy pill,
Limpid limbs upon a beach.

Grouped before a Magnotack,
Clubs and families
Will clutch everywhere
The same compact paradise
(In terms of touch).

Palpitating fingertips
Will caress the flossy hair
And investigate the lips
Simulated in mid-air.

See the schoolboy, like a blind lover
Frantically grope for the shape of love,
And find nothing but the shape of soap "
When I first read this poem I failed to notice the implied cruelty or the hardened cry from a anguished synaesthete.Thanks to Brian Boyd's annotations, which I recently reread, I was "touched" by it for the first time. There are so many different kinds of blindnesses to unveil!
ADA: "At a nice Christmas party for private librarians arranged under the auspices of the Braille Club in Raduga a couple of years earlier, emphatic Miss Vertograd had noticed that she and giggling Verger, with whom she was in the act of sharing a quiet little cracker (tugged apart with no audible result—nor did the gold paper frilled at both ends yield any bonbon or breloque or other favor of fate), shared also a spectacular skin disease that had been portrayed recently by a famous American
novelist in his Chiron and described in side-splitting style by a co-sufferer who wrote essays for a London weekly
Brian Boyd 131.34: the Braille Club in Raduga: The raised-dot system of writing devised by blind French educationist Louis Braille (1809-1852) was officially adopted two years after his death. Since raduga is Russian for “rainbow” (see 4.01n.), there is a ghoulish version here of the irony sentimentally treated in the famous painting The Blind Girl (1856) by Sir John Everett Millais (1829-1896) (a blind beggar girl unable to see the rainbow behind her that has caught the attention of her little sister).
Blanche is mockingly imagined as “color-blind” (49.08), and will have a blind child (408.22-23); the Ardis whose eroticism she in some senses stands for will become a “Home for Blind Blacks” (503.14). After blinding Kim Beauharnais for attempting to use his photographs of himself and Ada for blackmail purposes, Van keeps him “safe and snug in a nice Home for Disabled Professional People, where he gets from me loads of nicely brailled books on new processes in chromophotography” (446.05-07). MOTIF: blind; rainbow.
When I followed Ada's constant references to tactile sensations ( her "fingertrips"), distinctions ("tactfully, tactually"), metaphors ( "a more childish and sensual digit would have liked, and did like, to palpate that nose, cheek, chin. Remembrance, like Rembrandt, is dark but festive"[  ]"the blind finger of space poking and tearing the texture of time" [ ]"are tactile coincidences even more misleading than visual ones?"), I realized this one little thing: for him "a tactile sensation is a blind spot; we touch in silhouette. "**
Synaesthetic V.Nabokov had some sort of difficulty related to reconciling abstractions and words, to the very palpable consequences that arise from mingling sensations related to touch and vision: "the merest touch of her finger or mouth following a swollen vein produced not only a more potent but essentially different delicia than the slowest ‘winslow’ of the most sophisticated young harlot. What, then, was it that raised the animal act to a level higher than even that of the most exact arts or the wildest flights of pure science? It would not be sufficient to say that in his love-making with Ada he discovered the pang, the ogon’ the agony of supreme ‘reality.’[  ]The color and fire of that instant reality depended solely on Ada’s identity as perceived by him" in Van's case. Or, for almost hopeless Lucette: "Long ago she had made up her mind that by forcing the man whom she absurdly but irrevocably loved to have intercourse with her, even once, she would, somehow, with the help of some prodigious act of nature, transform a brief tactile event into an eternal spiritual tie..." Here I mean the pangs of a physical, private and silent touch ie, mortal flesh, because it's absent from any "mental picture," in contrast with the joys of  verbalized visions of color and fire, ie, immortality, endlessly retrievable and transmissible. 
Notice the "desperate signals" which are linked to "life, death" of "airy tenderness versus gross congestion": "contacts and reactions to contacts could not help coming through like a distant vibration of desperate signals. Endlessly, steadily, delicately, Van would brush his lips against hers, teasing their burning bloom, back and forth, right, left, life, death, reveling in the contrast between the airy tenderness of the open idyll and the gross congestion of the hidden flesh."

* "Voluptates Tactionum" was published in the New Yorker of January 27,1951; it was reprinted in Poems and Problems, p.166.  The typescript on which this message was written is close in wording to the published version, but the line breaks come at different points, so that the rhymes and meter - trochaic tetrameter - of the final version are not evident. Cf. letter 220, Dec. 1950 p.283  Dear Bunny, Dear Volodya The Nabokov-Wilson Letters, 1940-1971 Ed. Simon Karlinski

Another reference: http://books.google.com.br/books/about/Collection_of_Published_Poems_and_an_Exc.html?id=XwkhlwEACAAJ&redir_esc=yCollection of Published Poems and an Excerpt from the Novel Pnin on Leaves Clipped from the New Yorker
** - One must also consider V.Nabokov's increased "blindness" by an  audible and touch-sensitive crackling crisp skin during a fit of psoriasis, as he describes it in "Ada," like the illness that afflicts Verger and Miss Vertograd (from the initial quote).
Differently from several textbook descriptions that offer the image where  "vision is touch in the distance," for Nabokov touch remains a "blind spot."

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, New Yorker, 1941
Information: Poems include "Literary Dinner," "The Refrigerator Awakes," "On Discovering a Butterfly," "The Poem," "Lines Written in Oregon," and "The Ballad of Longwood Glen." With two copies of "The Room," "Voluptates Tactionum," "Rain," and "Exile." "Exile" second copy is proof affixed to sheet of blank paper, date not printed by magazine or supplied by Nabokov for either copy of poem.
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