NABOKV-L post 0026326, Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:04:29 -0300

Texture and component patterns

Brian Boyd to Barrie Akin: "Great find, Barrie, and a perfect example of the
"straw and fluff" VN said he gathered for his novels. Perhaps just a grace
note, but a very graceful one, and perhaps more."
Jansy Mello to B.Akin: ". I agree with you, some of the apparent
coincidences are not purely accidental.("Earle Rounald", "Count Ottar",
Alexander Pope). Such accretions, it seems to me, are not really "blind
alleys" but part of the weave, components of the very texture of Pale Fire,
as details to be caressed."

Jansy Mello: I selected these lines about Barrie Akin's new find and Boyd's
comments concerning VN's indication of Torfaeus, because I'd been recently
exploring Nabokov's various references to the word "texture" in PF and in
ADA. In my opinion, more than the "straw and fluff"* mentioned by Brian,
the inclusion of certain references is part of a weave or belong to its
underside. They add to the texture (the historical connection brought up by
Priscilla Meyer) when "texture" is used as "textile" and, as expected in VN,
with the word's other meanings equally attached to it.

I also think that Brian departed from a different work by Torfaeus ("the
Alexander Pope who translated the Icelander Torfaeus's on the Orkneys") than
the one selected by Priscilla Meyer ("Of his many works,. perhaps the most
important is his History of Vinland") and, coincidence or not, both are
important additions to the "texture" of PF. I find it hard to reach a single
interpretation, meaning or truth in any of VN's works, although I hesitate
to call them "open works" (they tend to infinite regress, no?)

"Such hearts, such brains, would be unable to comprehend that one's
attachment to a masterpiece may be utterly overwhelming, especially when it
is the underside of the weave that entrances the beholder and only begetter,
whose own past intercoils there with the fate of the innocent author." .(CK
foreword, Pale Fire)


* Alvin Toffler's Playboy (1964) interview: Nabokov: All I know is that at a
very early stage of the novel's development I get this urge to collect bits
of straw and fluff, and to eat pebbles. Nobody will ever discover how
clearly a bird visualizes, or if it visualizes at all, the future nest and
the eggs in it." Cf. also: "Ada, the Bog and the Garden: or, Straw, Fluff,
and Peat:Sources and Places in Ada." by B.Boyd.

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