Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0020650, Wed, 1 Sep 2010 23:59:00 -0300

Re: VN Audio books
Darryl Schade: I've been hoping that someday VN would show up on audio like Lolita and Speak, Memory and the handful of poems and now I see that Enchanter and Mary are scheduled for release on audio later this
month...I look forward to them and hope they have a good narrator. This may be heresy to those who think VN or any lit should only be read...I don't know how Pale Fire will "translate" but it will be interesting. And I hope they use several different narrators for variety, but I'm even more excited about it now....

JM: Until quite recently I'd been mostly a "reading" person until I started to listen to different voices and interpretations of English poetry and a new world opened up for me. Thanks to Dmitri for the initiative in relation to Nabokov, and to Darryl Schade for having brought the news.
Trying to spare my eye-sight I've been busy watching old movies, most of them silly or very contrived. The opening scene in one of them, with a movie producer describing his projects, played by Noel Coward, made me think of Nabokov playing Kinbote ( "Paris when it sizzles,"1964) and enjoying himself hugely during such a performance.

G.Lipon (to J.Friedman):... you are conflating the term insane with delusional and/or dissociated identity. ..Shade, if quoted accurately by Kinbote, says as much in the commentary to line 629(The fate of beasts):
"That is the wrong word," he said. "One should not apply it to a person who deliberately peels off a drab and unhappy past and replaces it with a brilliant invention. That's merely turning a new leaf with the left hand."

JM: I agree with Gary: one must state what we consider to be the meaning of "insane," "delusional," "deliberate" before we decide to argue about these terms ( there are so many different theories and different conceptions!). From the point of view implicit in Shade/Kinbote's sentence, which he quoted, we stand outside the realm of psychopathology, looking at things from the perspective of a creative artist. Perhaps Nabokov would have liked to believe that a person can avoid madness by an act of will as when Shade, in the same paragraph, observes that "loonies" and "poets" are alike. The interesting item, which I hadn't noticed until now, is the dissimilarity between Kinbote's Zemblan creation, and Nabokov's novels as a whole because VN's past was never presented as being drab and unhappy. He was not trying to "turn a new leaf"...
The more I consider the insertion of Botkin,V. in the Index, the more puzzling it seems to be (it's not as gratuitous as it had seemed to be at first!)

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