NABOKV-L post 0010533, Sun, 7 Nov 2004 11:17:49 -0800

Fwd: TT-21 Introductory Notes Wit editor comment

----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Sun, 7 Nov 2004 17:56:13 +0900
From: Akiko Nakata <>

.3-5: In that [Publisher's] House I shall be proofread by cherubim--or
misprinted by devils: In this chapter, the theme of proofreading comes to a
kind of climax as well as the other themes and motifs such as those of
avalanche (a permanent avalanche), three (this triple totality), writing
books (that book would become a new bible).

EDNOTE. A "printer's devil" is a young apprentice in the printing trade

82.09: Tom Tam: is "tom tom" and "tam tam" mixed? We hear Tamworth's first
name for the first time.

82.10-13: a botched operation; with dreadful carving gestures: are from an
association with Bolognese dishes?

82.16: According to my almond-eyed little spy: The "almond-eyed" modifies an
Italian nurse. I have thought "almond-eyed" are used for Oriental and
perhaps Arabian people. Are Latin people supposed to have almond eyes?
Anyway, as the Italian nurse could be described as "almond-eyed," I would
like to connect her eyes with the "Italian eyes" of the harlot HP met in Ch.
6. But actually I cannot imagine what typical "Italian" eyes are like. A
kind of slant eyes like those of Sophia Loren or Silvana Mangano?

82.23: the Tamworth problem: I think I could find in the portrait of
Tamworth in this chapter something that recalls Andrew Field after he got on
bad terms with VN. Reading *Selected Letters,* we find they were still in
peace while VN was working on TT. Brian Boyd assures me that then "VN did
not know yet that Field's biography was going off the rails, and the last
thing he would have wanted to do was to upset a touchy man who was
nevertheless at the time his loudest critical champion." And of course, AF
was never VN's secretary. But Tamworth, who is called by the name of a pig
raised for bacon and described as someone who "gnawed his way into all my
affairs, crawling into every cranny, collecting every German-accented word
of mine, so that now he can boswell the dead man just as he had bossed very
well the living one," seems to me reflecting AF, *as if* VN could have
foreseen what would happen between them in the near future, just like what
he was writing in TT.
EDNOTE. There may well be an echo of Andrew Field here but the figure of the
treacherous amanuensis in VN's work goes back at least to Mr. Goodman, scribe
and biographer of Sebastian Knight.

In a Kinbotean aside---- Speaking of pigs, I yesterday ran across an initially
unidentifiable antique agricultural machine, circa 1910, called a "hog
oiler"--a rotating drum with holes that smeared used crankcase oil on pigs when
they rubbed against it. The oil coating protected the pigs from both skin
parasites and sun burn. (Pigs are very sensitive to direct sunlight which is
why they are so fond of wallowing in mud--a porcine sun blocker.)

83.11: The only child I have ever loved is the ravishing, silly, treacherous
little Julia Moore. Every cent and *centime* I possess . . . must go to her
(my italics): sounds to echo dying Pere Goriot, who talks in delirium about
making money for his treacherous daughters.

83.22-29: why, for example, was he jailed, for a year--or more?--if he was
found to have acted in a pure epileptic trance . . . . How can one treat
dreams, unless one is a quack? : These questions trouble me too. Are we
supposed to solve the problems?

84.01-02: it remains always present *behind* the wall of my flesh: After
getting free from the wall of his flesh, Mr. R. is able to see everything
transcending time and space. Cf. "It is the prison wall of the ego suddenly
crumbling away with the nonego rushing in from the outside to save the
prisoner--who is already dancing in the open" ("The Art of Literature and
Commonsense" 378).

84.20-21: but because that particular one would never express in one flash
what can only be understood *immediately*: As I wrote in my article about
Wittgenstein in TT, I cannot help hearing an allusion to "It is clear
whatever we can say in advance about the form of all propositions, we must
be able to say all at once "(*Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus* 5.47). Cf.: .

84.20: in one flash: Cf. "The inspiration of genius adds a third ingredient:
it is the past and the present *and* the future (your book) that come
together in a sudden flash; thus the entire circle of time is perceived,
which is another way of saying that time ceases to exist. It is a combined
sensation of having the whole universe entering you and of yourself wholly
dissolving in the universe surrounding you" ("The Art of Literature and
Commonsense" 378). Mr. R. dies in despair at recognizing he could not write
the great book, a new bible. He also feels the whole universe has shriveled
while his ego is growing bigger. He is proved not a genius like VN.

84.24: File under Repos--R.: "Repos" also suggests R. who "reposes [rests in
peace]," and gets "repositioned" to be a "repository."

----- End forwarded message -----