Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0026450, Tue, 15 Sep 2015 15:16:48 +0000

Re: RES: [NABOKV-L] Was Nabokov a Hebephile\Ephebophile?
Yes, but the "raptus" in question is in a legal document, a release of Chaucer from procedures seeking redress. It couldn't possibly be the medical or religious metaphor. See The Riverside Chaucer, 3d ed., Ed. Larry Benson (1987) xxi-xxii.

Eric Hyman
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From: Vladimir Nabokov Forum [mailto:NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU] On Behalf Of Jansy Mello
Sent: Monday, September 14, 2015 3:09 PM
Subject: [NABOKV-L] RES: [NABOKV-L] Was Nabokov a Hebephile\Ephebophile?

Eric Hyman: [ ] "On the other hand, take Chaucer. There is a surprisingly large number of rapes in Chaucer's poetry, rapes that are not in his known sources, so he must have inserted them. And Chaucer himself was accused of a rape ("raptus" in the original Latin). The debate among Chaucer scholars over whether "raptus" meant rape or simply some form of abduction and whether Chaucer's connections at court enabled him to buy his way out of it is irresolvable-I get the feeling that Chaucerians, like all of us, believe what they want to believe.

J.Aisenberg: "Actually, I have always identified with Lolita, she's my favorite character in fiction and if you check through the archives you will see that I have always made the case for Lolita's remarkableness, her status as hero and victim; Nabokov himself in interviews called her touching and said that among all his characters he admired Lolita as a person second only to Pnin, another sympathetic survivor."

Jansy Mello: Chaucer & "raptus" must flare up many debates since raptus also means "seizure" and is a term found in medical texts and, in religious manuscripts, it emerges in the sense that, in English, leads us to "rapture" , the kind of ecstasy often associated to or found in VN's writings, as:

"Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don't stop to think, don't interrupt the scream, exhale, release life's rapture."

"The pleasures and rewards of literary inspiration are nothing beside the rapture of discovering a new organ under the microscope or an undescribed species on a mountainside in Iran or Peru. It is not improbable that had there been no revolution in Russia, I would have devoted myself entirely to lepidopterology and never written any novels at all.";

VN's first poem of love to a woman, apud Vladimir Nabokov: Poetry and the Lyric Voice by Paul D. Morris;

Lolita advertised as "the greatest novel of rapture" http://www.worldcat.org/title/lolita-the-greatest-novel-of-rapture-in-modern-fiction/oclc/441006143

"My work enraptures but utterly exhausts me... To know that no one before you has seen an organ you are examining, to trace relationships that have occurred to no one before, to immerse yourself in the wondrous crystalline world of the microscope, where silence reigns, circumscribed by its own horizon, a blindingly white arena - all this is so enticing that I cannot describe it (in a certain sense, in The Gift, I 'foretold' my destiny - this retreat into entomology" (Letter to his sister, Elena Sikorski, November 25, 1945. In Selected Letters, p. 58-59). http://www.d-e-zimmer.de/eGuide/VNonBut.htm

J.A: thanks for indicating the List archives for furthering searches about "V.Nabokov/Lolita". VN never went as far as Flaubert, though, who famously wrote that "Madame Bovary, c'est moi"
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