NABOKV-L post 0010703, Sun, 5 Dec 2004 09:03:16 -0800

Subject
Fw: Fwd: Twin crosses
Date
Body

----- Original Message -----
From: Jansy Berndt de Souza Mello
To: don barton johnson
Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2004 9:56 AM
Subject: Fw: Fwd: Twin crosses


I had sent this note before the one you posted. Did you get it?
Jansy


----- Original Message -----
From: Jansy Berndt de Souza Mello
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Sent: Sunday, December 05, 2004 7:51 AM
Subject: Re: Fwd: Twin crosses


Dear Mary, Marina, Brian Boyd, Don and the List


Mary Krimmel observed that " the fact that they are cocks is a red herring, for me anyway" whereas Brian Boyd noted that " since in a verbal association a Russian's likely first jump after "morzh" will usually
be to "khuy." I don't think the Ursus passage makes that any stronger".
VN often returns to his ideas concerning an excess of " verbal thought in Joyce" and to state that "tropes are the dreams of speech" and so I would like to thank Marina Grishakova for introducing the "tropological constructions" at this point while indicating Johathan Culler´s work.

If we imagine that VN could feel sometimes like Van who was, " an epicure of time " ( of " la durée", at least ) we might also add the idea that Nabokov used a very special "verbal time" - as distinct from the time registered by a taper or a lost wrist-watch - as from "memory-time" ( such as it is elaborated by Proust).

When writing about Time, Umberto Eco noted that for
" Chrysippus, 'interval does not imply an empty space between two things'; the Greek term is diástêma, which is the term used for a musical interval, that is the 'relation' btween two sounds; so not a 'gap' or a silence, but rather a 'filling' heard by the ear".

Nabokov throws onomatopoetic "red herrings" that turn into a significant reality soon after ( or soon before, or sometimes much later ) by this "filling heard by the ear".
VN is a master "enchanter" and his constant "metamorphosing" extends not simply to dislodging a heavy statue ( a " Pauline Anide", in TT ) from one part of the room to another, or hoping it will move by itself ( such as Pygmalion´s Gallatea ), but he also counts on "diástêma" ( at least, according to Eco´s description ) to take us on a long & exciting verbal magic-carpet from Ursus to Kotik ( sea-bear, Ada, page 288, describing Lucette´s " bear´/f/urs" ) and from there to "cok" or "khuy"!
Jansy Mello


- Original Message -----
From: "Donald B. Johnson" <chtodel@gss.ucsb.edu>
To: <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
Sent: Saturday, December 04, 2004 11:55 PM
Subject: Fwd: Twin crosses


> The twin cock crosses are not all rare even now.
>
> I'm no expert on this, but aren't they supposed to suggest, individually,
> Van's view of Ada as she leans way down to insert the plug? The fact that
> they are cocks is a red herring, for me anyway.
>
> Mary Krimmel
>
> At 10:03 AM 12/4/04 -0800, you wrote:
> >---
> >
> >Dear Jansy, (Jansy Berndt de Souza Mello <jansy@aetern.us>)
> >
> >Yes, but "twin cock crosses" is a very accurate description of old-style
> >faucets (W2: cock, 6a: A faucet, tap, or valve or the like for starting,
> >stopping or regulating flow); it foes not literally refer to a penis. At the
> >same time, of course, Ada's other grip catches at Van's valve. And the twin
> >cock crosses also bring to mind the watery twins Marina and Aqua (who has a
> >problem with tapwater), and their foreshadowing of Ada and Lucette, who
> >bursts into the room in the same sentence, just after Van's orgasm.
> >
> >Nabokov keeps "penis" out of his text, as Jeff observes, yet one of the key
> >moments of the novel is Ada's decision to return to Van at Mont Roux, in
> >1922: "'I told him to turn,' she said, 'somewhere near Morzhey ('morses' or
> >'walruses,' a Russian pun on 'Morges'--maybe a mermaid's message)." "Morzh"
> >in this sense is vulgar Russian for "cock" or "prick," and as "the mermaid's
> >message" indicates (Lucette has been explicitly called a mermaid shortly
> >before), and the Ophelia-like punning on private parts also suggests
> >(Lucette puns extensively on clitoris and other sexual terms, especially in
> >III.5, but again Nabokov eschews "clitoris" itself), Ada's decision to
> >return to Van seems to have something to do with dead Lucette.
> >
> >Viktor Krivulin's poem, Jeff's translation and Jeff's and Alexey's
> >commentary are delightful.
> >
> >Brian Boyd
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: Donald B. Johnson [mailto:chtodel@gss.ucsb.edu]
> >Sent: Saturday, December 04, 2004 3:58 PM
> >To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
> >Subject: Re: Fwd: Re: Krivulin poem re Nabokov. Translation
> >
> >Dear Jeff,
> >
> >You wrote that although Nabokov was always very precise in his terminology
> >"this precision rarely if ever extended to human genital organs".
> >And yet, the examples you offered were all only applicable to the "penis"
> >...
> >
> >
> >I sellected only one paragraph with VN=B4s euphemisms for the female sex an=
> >d
> >adjacent parts in "Ada" : "where she strained across the low tub to turn on
> >both taps and then bent over to insert the bronze chained plug; it got
> >sucked in by itself, however, while he steadied her lovely lyre and next
> >moment was at the suede-soft root, was gripped, was deep between the
> >familiar, incomparable, crimson-lined lips. She caught at the twin cock
> >crosses, thus involuntarily increasing the sympathetic volume of the water=
> >=B4s
> >noise, and Van emitted a long groan of deliverance" ( Penguin ed, pag. 308).
> >
> >Anyway, I enjoyed your sentence about "a penis is never simply a penis for
> >Nabokov" which nicely contrasts with Freud=B4s: " a cigar sometimes is only =
> >a
> >cigar".
> >
> >
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: "Donald B. Johnson" <chtodel@gss.ucsb.edu>
> >To: <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
> >Sent: Friday, December 03, 2004 6:07 PM
> >Subject: Re: Fwd: Re: Krivulin poem re Nabokov. Translation
> >
> >
> > > From Jeff Edmunds <jhe2@psulias.psu.edu>:
> > >
> > > Thank you Alexey Skylarenko for pointing out the shortcomings of my
> > > translation, especially the major goof in the second stanza (about
> > > which more below).
> > >
> > > As Alexey notes, "'Mgnove' is a truncated (and nonexisting) form of
> > > 'mgnovenie,' a moment." This form wonderfully embodies the "fragment"
> > > mentioned in the first stanza. Another of the charms of the first
> > > stanza
> >is
> > > the artistry which which the verb "zaselo" (got stuck) is literally
> > > stuck in the phrase "v moei golove" (in my head): "v moei zaselo
> > > golove." (Which calls to my mind the masterful first sentence of Alain
> > > Robbe-Grillet's _La jalousie_ [of which Nabokov said in a French
> > > interview published in 1959, "C'est le plus beau roman d'amour depuis
> > > Proust"], in which the structure
> >
> > > of the sentence serves as a textual analog of the image described:
> > > "Now
> >the
> > > shadow of the column--the column which supports the southwest corner
> > > of
> >the
> > > roof--divides the corresponding corner of the veranda into two equal
> >parts."
> > >
> > > As for stanza two, I would like to explain one reason why I misread
> > > the text as implying that it was Nabokov who "conceal[s] the genital
> > > organ / With metaphysical delight." Nabokov was always precise in his
> > > terminology (cf., inter alia, Peter Lubin's paper in ZEMBLA), but this
> > > precision
> >rarely
> > > if ever extended to human genital organs. So far as I can recall,
> > > Nabokov does not once in his published prose or poetry use the word
> > > "penis." (He
> > > *does* use the term in one of his letters to Edmund Wilson. If I
> > > recall correctly, he says, in reference to the sex scenes in one of
> > > Wilson's books, that despite their frankness, they are not arousing,
> > > in fact they are about as arousing as "trying to open a can of tuna with
> >one's penis."
> > > Incidentally, the delivery of this line by Dmitri Nabokov playing his
> > > father during a performance of Terry Quinn's "Dear Bunny, Dear Volodya,"
> > > was, for me, a delightful moment of shared hilarity during the 1998
> >Cornell
> > > Nabokov Centenary Festival.)
> > >
> > > Whether the "pryshchushchii persik" (spurting peach) or "priap"
> > > (priapus) in Chapter XIII of Prignlashenie na kazn' (Invitation to a
> > > Beaheading), or the much more famous "scepter of my passion" in
> > > Lolita, a penis is never simply a penis for Nabokov. Few writers, it
> > > might be argued, have so artistically concealed "the genital organ" with
> >"metaphysical delight."
> > > Hence my too-hasty willingness to see Nabokov as the concealer in
> > > stanza two rather than as the explainer of this concealment.
> > >
> > > Finally, as I mentioned to Alexey in a personal message thanking him
> > > for his corrections, I was also distracted by the fact that I had
> > > composed a more ribald, even less literal, but rhymed version of the
> > > second stanza, not sent to the list, in which I replaced "genital
> > > organ" with "cock" and rendered "polotenchikom" as "with a sock."
> > >
> > > Again, my apologies to Mr. Krivulin, and now to The Red Hot Chili
> > > Peppers as well.
> > >
> > > Jeff Edmunds
> > >
> > >
> > > At 10:24 AM 12/2/2004 -0800, you wrote:
> > > >----- Forwarded message from sklyarenko@users.mns.ru -----
> > > > Date: Thu, 2 Dec 2004 19:36:39 +0300
> > > > From: alex <sklyarenko@users.mns.ru>
> > > >
> > > >Thank you, Jeff Edmunds, for your translation and for providing a
> > > >link to
> >the
> > > >complete version of this poem. I found it on a different web page
> > > >(http://www.vavilon.ru/texts/krivulin4.html) where the poem was
> > > >published without the four last lines.
> > > >The poem's strange title apparently needs a short commentary.
> > > >"Mgnove" is
> >a
> > > >truncated (and nonexisting) form of "mgnovenie," a moment, and the
> > > >whole
> >title
> > > >plays on the first line of Pushkin's famous poem "Ya pomnyu chudnoe
> > > >mgnoven'ye"
> > > >(I remember a wondrous moment)addressed to Anna Kern (who was to
> > > >become Pushkin's mistress a couple of years after he had written that
> >poem).
> >That's
> > > >why "mgnove" is compared to a fragment of some antique statue in
> > > >lines
> >3-4.
> > > >I think the translation is marvelous, but I would like to correct one
> >little
> > > >mistake. The author of the poem doesn't want Nabokov to conceal the
> >genital
> > > >organ (of the statue) with metaphysical delight, he wants him to
> > > >explain why it is concealed. Also, styd i sram (the phrase occurs in
> > > >ADA, ch. 38) means simply "shame."
> > > >
> > > >Krivulin has also a poem entitled Chetvyortaya Sestra ("The Fourth
> > > >Sister") that
> > > >might have been inspired (and might be not) by Chekhov's well-known
> > > >play
> >"The
> > > >Four Sisters" (again, see ADA).
> > > >
> > > >Alexey
> > > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > > From: Donald B. Johnson
> > > > To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
> > > > Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2004 3:36 AM
> > > > Subject: Fwd: Re: Krivulin poem re Nabokov. Translation
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > EDNOTE. With thanks to Jeff Edmunds on ZEMBLA's Birthday.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > From Jeff Edmunds <jhe2@psulias.psu.edu>:
> > > >
> > > > The version of this poem that reached me via the list was both
> > > > garbled
> >and
> > > > truncated, perhaps as a result of the encoding. The apparently
> >complete
> > > > version is available at
> > > >
> > > > http://www.vavilon.ru/texts/prim/krivulin4.html
> > > >
> > > > about two-thirds of the way down the page.
> > > >
> > > > Below is an English version, composed hastily and immediately
> > > > postprandially. It is whimsical, ugly, unrhymed, and probably
> > > > wrong in
> >at
> > > > least three ways. My apologies to Viktor Krivulin.
> > > > ---------------------------------------------
> > > >
> > > > Marvelous Moment
> > > >
> > > > Why did you, marvelous moment,
> > > > Get stuck in my head
> > > > Like a fragment from the naughty bits
> > > > Of some antique statue?
> > > >
> > > > Let Nabokov explain
> > > > The meaning of Russian diffidence and
> > > > Shame, and conceal the genital organ
> > > > With metaphysical delight
> > > > As with a wisp of cloth --
> > > >
> > > > Why? What for and from whom?
> > > > Harmony is deity
> > > > On line, connected to us
> > > > So that we don't see, but we know,
> > > > There is something there, where there is nothing
> > > >
>
> ----- End forwarded message -----
>
>