Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0020762, Fri, 24 Sep 2010 23:56:13 -0300

Re: Fw: [NABOKOV-L] Spring in Fialta and ETA HOffman's "The
Bruce Stone: There's a reference to a Hoffmann Street in "A Nursery Tale." The street is fairly significant in the story. Frau Monde (the devil) has chosen a house on that street as the site for the story's climactic finish, and it's there that Erwin, the protagonist, asks for directions from a "dummylike chauffeur" who tells him that he has reached his destination.

JM: Interesting ( almost "hidden") information, thank you!

Nabokov once referred to Erwin's mistaken choice ( of his first, but also his last girl) in connection to "Lolita". He also changed the original title ("Skazka"), which had been designated, at first, as a "fairy-tale," another pregnant word
Hoffmann's "Automata," and Dr. Coppelius's dolls ("Der Sandmann") have recently reappeared in a different sort of "fairy-tale." Joyce Carol Oates' in "Wild Nights!" describes a couple who decides to acquire an "EDickinsonRepliLuxe" to bring home to live with them. In Oates's tale, although the husband prefers a "body/soul" replication of Babe Ruth or Van Gogh, Mrs. Krim's choice prevails and they set their heartss upon an ethereal Emily Dickinson replicant...

Would I have dared to carry home a VladNabokovRepliLuxe, to watch him fill his note-cards with pencil scribblings and, perhaps, witness him complete TOoL? (he'd be protected by copyrights, though, and impossible to buy). Oates' inventiveness allows the customers to decide upon ordering their favorite painter, author or athlete, either as a small child or as a full grown person. Nabokov, as a boy, programmed to react to the world as the real Nabokov would have responded... what a story!

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