Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0015716, Wed, 28 Nov 2007 22:05:02 EST

Re: Thoughts Re: [NABOKV-L] Brian Boyd on Apples in PF
In a message dated 11/27/2007 10:59:17 AM Central Standard Time,
> I enjoyed the connection among "lamp, an apple", /Ampelis/,
> and /sampel/. However, I don't see the "pl" repetitions as
> pyrotechnic. "Gradual and dual" is spectacular, but in
> my experience of writing poetry, the sound repetitions
> happen by themselves (English has only 35 or 40 phonemes)
> and you can learn to hear them and add to them without
> much trouble.
> In regard to Sergei's question, Shade says "/my/ apple on
> a plate". This can't be an apple in a decorative fruit
> bowl such as you've observed; it has to be one that he has
> or (in my opinion) has been given as a child, for the
> purpose of eating. I agree with others that the adult Shade's
> difficulty in starting an apple seems to be relevant here.
> When, as a child, I was given an apple on a saucer, it
> didn't last long enough for me to look at its reflection in
> a window.
It should be obvious that Shade was here predicting the soon-to-be existence
of that other Nabokov creation, "Alfred Appel." Alfred once told me that his
son was in a class in which the professor stated, in a manner that would
discourage any argument on the subject, that "Alfred Appel" was a fictional
character invented by VN to "explain" Lolita. Apparently the son had to produce his
birth certificate as evidence that A. A. was, in fact, a real person with a
genuine gene-pool! VN cast very long shadows, as it were.

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