Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0015688, Wed, 21 Nov 2007 20:15:01 -0500

THOUGHTS: Apples in PF
Sergei Soloviev: I have seen a lot of English and US homes with a beautiful
plate with fruits... in the sitting room, but they are not supposed to be
eaten...It seems that you, Jansy, take for granted that any apple on the
table is there to be eaten (is it so in Portugal and Brasilian culture?).
...I wonder how often the discussion on this site are coming from cultural
differences, how often due to them we see as a symbol something that is not.

JM: Sergei, on the matter of "symbols" we may argue that the Biblical apple
was incorrectly depicted and that the indicated fruit was another one. I had
no "forbidden fruit" in mind when Shade's mirrored apple (even if seen thru
a glass, darkly) shone in the yard and made me recall Kinbote's words, nor
did I think about it as a "symbol".
I have no idea about eating habits in Portugal, but when apples are served
on a plate we are iimplicitly invited to eat them and I always thought this
happened anywhere in the world.
Our List has readers from various nationalities and from different cultures,
therefore we'll certainly be offered discrepant readings, something
desirable as I see it because misunderstandings from an unconciously biased
point of view can be set straight.

I must confess that until I read RSGwynn's former message I had envisaged
the first verses in PF as a kind of "setting the stage for coming events"
( not as a description of an apple displayed in the Shade's sitting room or
in a nursery, even).

Search the archive: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/archives/nabokv-l.html
Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm