Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0015648, Mon, 5 Nov 2007 21:59:25 -0500

QUERY: Marianne Moore, Edsel Ford, and VN
Dear List,

Marianne Moore's famous line about poetry and "imaginary gardens with real toads in them" has often been quoted and it appears in "The Annotated Lolita."
While I was googling for information about Moore ( not the sculptor who makes his appearance very indirectly - as I was once told - nor one of the characters in "Transparent Things" ) I discovered that she is related to the prosaic Ford failure, the Edsel car.
Could VN have also had Mariane Moore in mind when he quoted the verses from a "real" Edsel Ford ( M. Roth's find and demonstrative quotes), thereby adding a curious twist to his Edsel reference in Pale Fire?
google: In 1955, Moore was informally invited by David Wallace, manager of marketing research for Ford's "E-car" project, and his co-worker Bob Young to provide input with regard to the naming of the car. Wallace's rationale was "Who better to understand the nature of words than a poet?" History has greatly exaggerated Moore's relationship to the project: her contributions were meant to stir creative thought and were not officially authorized or contractual in nature.
The car was finally christened the Edsel...

Jansy Mello

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