NABOKV-L post 0010737, Wed, 8 Dec 2004 09:35:31 -0800

Subject
Re: Fwd: TT-25 Akiko's Notes
Date
Body


----- Forwarded message from jansy@aetern.us -----
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 23:13:53 -0300
From: Jansy Berndt de Souza Mello <jansy@aetern.us>

After a lot of comings and goings on the theme of the "lunette", the issue VN
discussed on ch.24 runs the risk of getting submerged under my own
digressions!
I mean VN´s statement that : "and every cause-and-effect sequence is always a
hit-and-miss affair, even if the lunette has actually closed around your neck,
and the cretinous crowd holds its breath"...
The eminence of this "beheading" brings up a very interesting proposition about
the excesses found in a logical "cause and effect" type of reasoning.
This entire chapter carries a lot of VN´s precious indications about what he
thought about the "real" in literature and in life - perhaps also in
"afterlife". It was also in this chapter that I noticed VN write, for the
first time, that " one should bear in mind, however, that there is no mirage
without a vanishing point, just as there is no lake without a closed circle of
reliable land" .

Here (ch24) he wrote: " Human life can be compared to a person dancing in a
variety of forms around his own self; thus the vegetables of our first picture
book encircled a boy ( Don has discussed this "boy" in the chapter of his
article in Zembla that he posted yesterday) in his dream - green cucumber, blue
eggplant, red beet (...) their spinning ronde going faster and faster"... and
he ends his book using this same "dream".
On Ch.26 : "Rings of blurred colors circled around him, remindind him briefly
of a childhood picture in a frigthening book about triumphant
vegetables...(...) Easy, you know, does it, son " .

What are the life and death choices we can make? seems to be the insistent
question proposed in these chapters.

Last year I watched Spielberg´s movie " Minority Report" ( based on Phillip
Dick´s Sci-Fi short-story). Choice and the possibility of a rupture from the
"cause-and-effect" circles that bind our freedom in "rings of blurred colors"
is poignantly illustrated there, in this "minority report"....

----- Original Message -----
From: Donald B. Johnson
To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 8:51 PM
Subject: Fwd: TT-25 Akiko's Notes




----- Forwarded message from a-nakata@courante.plala.or.jp -----
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 22:34:55 +0900
From: Akiko Nakata <a-nakata@courante.plala.or.jp>
Reply-To: Akiko Nakata <a-nakata@courante.plala.or.jp>
Subject: TT-25 Introductory Notes
To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU, chtodel@gss.ucsb.edu

94.03-06: A search for lost time . . . *je suis ne": "The French translates
the opening of Thomas Hood's 'I remember, I remember' (1827). Goodgrief
combines Hood ('Good' in the Russian transliteration) and the surname of C.
K. Scot Moncrieff, the translator of Proust who changed the title of *A la
recherche du temps perdu* (*In Search of Lost Time*) to *Remembrance of
Things Past* in order to keep to Proust's R-T-P- pattern and to echo
Shakespeare's sonnet 30: 'When to the sessions of sweet silent thought / I
summon up remembrance of things past . . . '" (Brian Boyd's note to the LoA
edition).
You can read the poem by Thomas Hood at:
http://www.photoaspects.com/chesil/hood/; Shakespeare's sonnet 30 at:
http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/30.html .

94.06: Proust's quest: As Alyssa Pelish pointed out the resemblance between
a passage from "The Fugitive" and Ch.1 of TT some months ago, Proust plays
an important role in the novella. A passage from VN's lecture on Proust
almost sounds to describe TT (except for "enormous"): "The whole is a
treasure hunt where the treasure is time and the hiding place the past [. .
. ] The transmutation of sensation into sentiment, the ebb and tide of
memory, waves of emotions such as desire, jealousy, and artistic
euphoria--this is the material of the enormous and yet singularly light and
translucid work."

Another Proust connection: "Now Lady X," repeated in this chapter, alludes
to some characters in Proust who move up to a higher position as Odette de
Crecy finally becomes Comtess de Forcheville.

94.12-13: Jacques lay buried under six feet of snow in Chute, Colorado: One
of the characters who have died backstage. As Don and John has mentioned,
"Chute" suggests that the ex-bobsled champion died by falling. As I wrote on
Ch. 7, in "The Vane Sisters," the spirit of Oscar Wilde tells that he and
his brother, John and Bill Moore, coal miners in Colorado, died in an
avalanche. In this chapter just before we see M. Wilde we hear about Jacque.

94.13: a club hut: Have we seen the hut? Is it the shallet where three J
boys had a party?

94.15-16: "Draconite," a stimulant no longer in production: is of course
from Draconita as well as Dragon + knight/night. Cf. "The *dragon drag* had
worn off: its aftereffects are not pleasant, combining as they do physical
fatigue with a certain starkness of thought as if all color were drained
from the mind" (ADA II. 11, my italics).

95.23: A dog yapped on the inner side of the door: It reminds me of the
"dog" that Kern of "Wingstroke" believes to be with Isabel in her room
(later he knows it was not a dog). Unlike it, the dog whose yapping HP hears
actually accompanies the woman who stays in the room. HP has no chance to
see the dog, though. The dog was foreshadowed by the door's winning
following HP "like a stupid pet" (Ch. 2). As a dog (a setter) causes
Charlotte's death in *Lolita*, a dog (a spitz) indirectly leads HP to the
death in the room where he and Armande stayed eight years ago. See also the
note to "the lady with the dog" below.

95.31: "Beau Romeo": The exact name of the Stresa hotel is The Grand Hotel
des Isles Borromees, facing Lago Maggiore. Answering my question, Brian Boyd
revised the note to the LoA edition that the hotel was "Borromeo"--there
seems to be no hotel by the name in Stresa. He also brought my attention to
the Maggiore-Major-More-Moore connections. You can see the hotel at
http://www.borromees.it/index2.html.

96.07: *Transatlantic*: Another "trans-." HP returned trans-Atlantically to
the magazine (obviously a pun on *The Atlantic*) he left there eight years
ago. Could it be possible that VN was thinking of Witold Gombrowicz's
novel, *Trans-Atlantyk*?

96.10-11: Monsieur Wilde's English . . . intonation: "Nabokov commented that
George Steiner 'absurdly overestimates Oscar Wilde's mastery of French'
(*Strong Opinions*, Article 7, 'Anniversary Notes'--'George Steiner')"
(Brian Boyd's note to LoA).
In "The Vane Sisters," Wilde speaks "rapid garbled French, with the usual
anglicisms."

96.17-18: One talks here of a man who murdered his spouse eight years ago:
As the issue was left by HP himself, it cannot have the article about HP's
own murder, but several paralles are found between HP and the murderer.

96.26-27: the woman who had enveloped the fat that remained of her ham in a
paper napkin: "The lady with the dog" is going to give it to her dog. We
will see a shred of the paper napkin and a smudge of grease in the
wastepaper basket in the following chapter.

96.33-97.he had been an exemplary prisoner and had even taught his
cell-mates such things as chess, Esperanto, the best way to make pumpkin
pie, the signs of the zodiac, gin rummy, et cetera, et cetera: Is there any
well-known criminal to whom all these things apply to?

98.02-06: I faked violence . . . appering subnormal: A Hamlet motif.

98.19: *l'aiguillon rouge*: I am grateful to Brian Boyd for telling me that
*l'aiguillon rouge* comes from a hawkmoth, the sphinx du liseron, which has
an "aiguillon rouge," and it "may come from Ronsard, whom Nabokov knew well,
and there is an 'aiguillon' (as Cupid's arrow, though), in the sonnet 'Qui
voudra voyr comme un Dieu me surmonte.' But it's not red." I am also
grateful to Jansy for sending me a photo of the hawkmoth (I am forwarding it
to the list). Ronsard's "Poemes des Amours" (1552) can be read at:
http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~lavoicy/labe/pleiade/ronsard-amours1.htm . The
fourth stanza has "D'avoir au flanc l'aiguillon amoureux."

98.24-25: three famous theologians and two minor poets: Who are they? I only
remember Socrates and his Daimonion, a kind of guardian spirit, which warned
the philosopher against various prospective events.

98.26-27: a larger, incredibly wiser, calmer and stronger stranger, morally
better than he: Cf. "A demon, I felt, was frocingme to impersonate that
other man, that other writer who was and would always be incomparably
greater, healthier, and crueler than your obedient servant" (*LATH* II. 3).

98.35-99.01: Verona, Florence, Rome, Taormina: In March 1970 VN went to Rome
with the index cards for TT. Then in April and May he visited Taormina
(Brian Boyd, *VNAY* 576). In Florence the Nabokovs visited museums in 1966
(*Ibid* 512). How about Verona?

99.08-09: The lady with the little dog: "Title of Anton Chekhov's story of
an adulterous affair, 'Dama s sobachkoi' (1899) (Brian Boyd's note to LoA).
In Chekhov's story, the little dog is a spitz. In "Spring in Fialta," VN's
"The Lady with the Little Dog," dogs are intentionally spared. However,
Nina's scarf "already on the move like those dogs that recognize you before
their owners do" makes her see Victor as a spitz gives Gulov a chance to
talk to Anna in Chekhov's story.

Thank you for reading!

Akiko

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



------------------------------------------------------------------------------


94.03-06: A search for lost time . . . *je suis né": "The French translates
the opening of Thomas Hood's 'I remember, I remember' (1827). Goodgrief
combines Hood ('Good' in the Russian transliteration) and the surname of C. K.
Scot Moncrieff, the translator of Proust who changed the title of *A la
recherche du temps perdu* (*In Search of Lost Time*) to *Remembrance of Things
Past* in order to keep to Proust's R-T-P- pattern and to echo Shakespeare's
sonnet 30: 'When to the sessions of sweet silent thought / I summon up
remembrance of things past . . . '" (Brian Boyd's note to the LoA edition).
You can read the poem by Thomas Hood at:
http://www.photoaspects.com/chesil/hood/; Shakespeare's sonnet 30 at:
http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/30.html .

94.06: Proust's quest: As Alyssa Pelish pointed out the resemblance between a
passage from "The Fugitive" and Ch.1 of TT some months ago, Proust plays an
important role in the novella. A passage from VN's lecture on Proust almost
sounds to describe TT (except for "enormous"): "The whole is a treasure hunt
where the treasure is time and the hiding place the past [. . . ] The
transmutation of sensation into sentiment, the ebb and tide of memory, waves of
emotions such as desire, jealousy, and artistic euphoria--this is the material
of the enormous and yet singularly light and translucid work."

Another Proust connection: "Now Lady X," repeated in this chapter, alludes to
some characters in Proust who move up to a higher position as Odette de Crécy
finally becomes Comtess de Forcheville.

94.12-13: Jacques lay buried under six feet of snow in Chute, Colorado: One of
the characters who have died backstage. As Don and John has mentioned, "Chute"
suggests that the ex-bobsled champion died by falling. As I wrote on Ch. 7, in
"The Vane Sisters," the spirit of Oscar Wilde tells that he and his brother,
John and Bill Moore, coal miners in Colorado, died in an avalanche. In this
chapter just before we see M. Wilde we hear about Jacque.

94.13: a club hut: Have we seen the hut? Is it the shallet where three J boys
had a party?

94.15-16: "Draconite," a stimulant no longer in production: is of course from
Draconita as well as Dragon + knight/night. Cf. "The *dragon drag* had worn
off: its aftereffects are not pleasant, combining as they do physical fatigue
with a certain starkness of thought as if all color were drained from the mind"
(ADA II. 11, my italics).

95.23: A dog yapped on the inner side of the door: It reminds me of the "dog"
that Kern of "Wingstroke" believes to be with Isabel in her room (later he
knows it was not a dog). Unlike it, the dog whose yapping HP hears actually
accompanies the woman who stays in the room. HP has no chance to see the dog,
though. The dog was foreshadowed by the door's winning following HP "like a
stupid pet" (Ch. 2). As a dog (a setter) causes Charlotte's death in *Lolita*,
a dog (a spitz) indirectly leads HP to the death in the room where he and
Armande stayed eight years ago. See also the note to "the lady with the dog"
below.

95.31: "Beau Romeo": The exact name of the Stresa hotel is The Grand Hòtel des
Isles Borromées, facing Lago Maggiore. Answering my question, Brian Boyd revised
the note to the LoA edition that the hotel was "Borromeo"--there seems to be no
hotel by the name in Stresa. He also brought my attention to the
Maggiore-Major-More-Moore connections. You can see the hotel at
http://www.borromees.it/index2.html.

96.07: *Transatlantic*: Another "trans-." HP returned trans-Atlantically to
the magazine (obviously a pun on *The Atlantic*) he left there eight years ago.
Could it be possible that VN was thinking of Witold Gombrowicz's novel,
*Trans-Atlantyk*?

96.10-11: Monsieur Wilde's English . . . intonation: "Nabokov commented that
George Steiner 'absurdly overestimates Oscar Wilde's mastery of French'
(*Strong Opinions*, Article 7, 'Anniversary Notes'--'George Steiner')" (Brian
Boyd's note to LoA).
In "The Vane Sisters," Wilde speaks "rapid garbled French, with the usual
anglicisms."

96.17-18: One talks here of a man who murdered his spouse eight years ago: As
the issue was left by HP himself, it cannot have the article about HP's own
murder, but several paralles are found between HP and the murderer.

96.26-27: the woman who had enveloped the fat that remained of her ham in a
paper napkin: "The lady with the dog" is going to give it to her dog. We will
see a shred of the paper napkin and a smudge of grease in the wastepaper basket
in the following chapter.

96.33-97.he had been an exemplary prisoner and had even taught his cell-mates
such things as chess, Esperanto, the best way to make pumpkin pie, the signs of
the zodiac, gin rummy, et cetera, et cetera: Is there any well-known criminal to
whom all these things apply to?

98.02-06: I faked violence . . . appering subnormal: A Hamlet motif.

98.19: *l'aiguillon rouge*: I am grateful to Brian Boyd for telling me that
*l'aiguillon rouge* comes from a hawkmoth, the sphinx du liseron, which has an
"aiguillon rouge," and it "may come from Ronsard, whom Nabokov knew well, and
there is an 'aiguillon' (as Cupid's arrow, though), in the sonnet 'Qui voudra
voyr comme un Dieu me surmonte.' But it's not red." I am also grateful to
Jansy for sending me a photo of the hawkmoth (I am forwarding it to the list).
Ronsard's "Poèmes des Amours" (1552) can be read at:
http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~lavoicy/labe/pleiade/ronsard-amours1.htm . The
fourth stanza has "D'avoir au flanc l'aiguillon amoureux."

98.24-25: three famous theologians and two minor poets: Who are they? I only
remember Socrates and his Daimonion, a kind of guardian spirit, which warned
the philosopher against various prospective events.

98.26-27: a larger, incredibly wiser, calmer and stronger stranger, morally
better than he: Cf. "A demon, I felt, was frocingme to impersonate that other
man, that other writer who was and would always be incomparably greater,
healthier, and crueler than your obedient servant" (*LATH* II. 3).

98.35-99.01: Verona, Florence, Rome, Taormina: In March 1970 VN went to Rome
with the index cards for TT. Then in April and May he visited Taormina (Brian
Boyd, *VNAY* 576). In Florence the Nabokovs visited museums in 1966 (*Ibid*
512). How about Verona?

99.08-09: The lady with the little dog: "Title of Anton Chekhov's story of an
adulterous affair, 'Dama s sobachkoi' (1899) (Brian Boyd's note to LoA). In
Chekhov's story, the little dog is a spitz. In "Spring in Fialta," VN's "The
Lady with the Little Dog," dogs are intentionally spared. However, Nina's scarf
"already on the move like those dogs that recognize you before their owners do"
makes her see Victor as a spitz gives Gulov a chance to talk to Anna in
Chekhov's story.

Thank you for reading!

Akiko

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