Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0015650, Tue, 6 Nov 2007 12:21:17 -0200

Re: QUERY: Marianne Moore, Edsel Ford, and VN
RS Gwynn, answering on Edsel Ford's verses in PF, in relation to Mariane Moore's "toad" : "This may be possible, but I suspect that Edsel Ford sent him a book and that he admired some of the work... It's just like VN to have championed, in a very small way, a poet from the hinterlands ...I'm sure that VN appreciated the irony of a poet's sharing his name with an automobile, but I doubt that he was having fun at the unfortunate E. F.'s expense. Marianne Moore's frustrated arrangement with the Ford Motor Company has been well documented."

JM: I agree that VN might have championed a poet from the hinterlands, but the irony of "a poet's sharing his name with an automobile" might also served to spice his homage. Some of VN's "toads" ( straying a bit from Marianne Moore's "literalists of the imagination"), though, could have been intrusions comparable to the fresh rose Van encountered in the midst of an arrangement of artificial roses, or to the diegetic "versipellous" effect of estrangement he achieved elsewhere...

There is an interesting collection of stories by Italo Calvino ( available in English under the Vintage title "Numbers in the Dark") offering a satyrical interview with Henry Ford where HF says: " American history is a history of journeys between boundless horizons...only the automobile has given Americans America. Only with the automobile have they become masters of the length and breadth of the country..." that reminded me not simply of Lolita's road-story but also that VN, himself, didn't drive.Looping allusions?

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