Fw: Moore/Romeo/ More on TT/mistura final
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Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2004 18:51:20 -0300
From: Jansy Berndt de Souza Mello <email@example.com>
Mr. R, in Transparent Things, constantly complains about shifting or changing
characters in his novels. And yet TT offers us such "character"-shifts
constantly ( from Armande to Julia, from Hugh to Romeo, from Mr. R to Adam bon
Librikov..) and also illusions and mistakes.
Couple Armande and Hugh go to Mr. R in Switzerland: ' He found the door ajar,
and while tramping the mat noticed with amused surprise Julia Moore
standing...turned out to be a totally different girl" (page 72)
We also find not only various persons ( Percy, Peterson, Person, any person)
but also various Guys and guys ( there is Guy and the other Guy, a cousin (
Hugh tells a story to a hotel guest, Mr, Wilde in which
" he had been tried twice for throttling an American girl ( now Lady X ) ( page
100) . Lady X, of course, is Julia Moore ( page 99 : "Julia Moore ( now Lady X
)..." ) and not Armande.
Mr. R writes about his relationship with a girl and a daughter ( Julia Moore )
in his book that reflects what happened in his, "R´s", life: "but the daughter
in manner and movement, in breathless speech, in many other features...was
certainly Julia, although the author had made her fair-headed" ( fair-headed
like Armande and the hotel´s receptionist )
We know that Mr. R´s is a " luxuriant and bastard style; yet, at his best (
"the gray rainbow of a fog-dogged moon" ), it was diabolically evocative (
pag.78) " and here the theme of "dog" and "moon" is brought up in relation
SHAKESPEARE in TT:
There are several balconies and also Juliet and Romeo ( Giulia Romeo, Julia
Moore, a nice anagram Moore/Romeo, Giulia/Juliet/ Julia ) , Hugh is Mr. Romeo
and also a "pilgrim..."
So, let´s see how things were in W. Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet Balcony, act
ROMEO [Coming forward.]:
But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That (1) thou her maid (2) art far more fair than she.
Be not her maid, since she is envious.
Her vestal livery (3) is but sick and green, (4)
And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off. (5)
(1) Because. (2) In classical mythology the moon is ruled by the virgin goddess
Diana; hence the innocent Juliet is "her maid," but this maid is more beautiful
than her mistress. (3) Virginal, costume like that worn by the ancient Roman
Vestal Virgins. (4) Young women were said to suffer from "green-sickness" which
could only be cured by lovemaking. (5) That is, stop being a virgin (make love
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy.
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face. O, be some other name
Belonging to a man.
This was the famous balcony scene on Act II. After Juliet and Romeo are secretly
married, Romeo climbs the balcony to reach her room ( Act III)
Act III scene 5
(...) Out, you green-sickness carrion! out, you baggage!
Young women were said to suffer from "green-sickness" which could only be cured
(all notes and comments were found at the internet )
References in Transparent Things
Julia Moore/ Giulia Romeo ("the surname means 'pilgrim' in archaic Italian, but
then we are all pilgrims, and all dreams are anagrams of diurnal reality",
1. Giulia, or Juliet , wore a Doppler shift over her luminous body ( Cf. also
"An electric sign, Doppler, shifted to violet through the half-drawn curtains
and illumined the deadly white papers he had left on the table,pag 80)
"Hugh did all the could to restrain Juliet" ( page 83)
Julia ( " he had clamped Julia nicely and would have saved her from certain
death... slipped somehow over the sill and taken him with her into the void.
What a fall! What a silly Julia! "(page 84)
2. Romeo: " What a silly Julia! What luck that Mr. Romeo still gripped and
twisted..." (page 84)
Romeo/ Hugh, also on pg 89: The first stage of his revisitation ( Person was
prone to pilgrimages as had been a French ancestor of his, a Catholic poet and
well-nigh a saint ) .
On page 97: " What had you expected of your pilgrimage, Person?"
3. "Its name, he said, sounded like 'Beau Romeo'. She repeated it in its
correct form..." pag.98... "
4 . " He should leave Witt there and then for Verona, Florence..."(page 101) (
Verona is Romeo and Juliet´s town )
Romeo is a Montague Lammerspitz/Rimperstein./ Wittgenberg/
Wittgenstein....Spitzdog/Spitzberg/".= Mont Aigu - Montague ?????
Juliet is a Capulet : related to head, captain, capelet, hood.
Mr. R had a wife Marian ( Robin Hood´s companion!) and somewhere there is a
I had suggested in former mailings references to moon,crescent, dawn/sunset in
connection to Armande. Also to the "East" ( room facing East...) that are
present in Shakespeare´s Balcony Scene...
1.in Hugh´s dream (pag 83) "the window was large and low; it had a broad sill
padded and sheeted, as was customary in that country of ice and fire. Such
glaciers,such dawns! "
2. rimiform...balanic plum...( b,k,l?) ..sly scramble ( pag 78):
(b) almost directly
1. "Because the bed in his fourth-floor room had been in another, northern
position, he now made for the door...trying to espace, as he thought he could,
through the window which stood ajar...suffocation made him try to get out by
climbing out and down, but there were no ledges or balconies on that side of
the roaring house...(pag 106)
2. H and A were honeymooning in Stresa in a "most combustible hotel" and
after fire on TV Armande reharsed an "acrobatic escape" ... There were little
railed balconies here and there provided for one´s careful descent... Hugh
managed to scramble back onto his balcony, still roaring her name... (page 69)
and eventually she was located in a third-floor room ( page 69)
3. A fairy-tale element seemed to imbue with its Gothic rose water all attempts
to scale the battlements of her Dragon (page 55)
There are also climbs with the aid of Drakonita cable cars and their Drakonita
gondola ..(pag 91)
After making his "return of Chorb" visit to Switzerland, Hugh
"had wanted to move to Floor Three" (page 102)
The room was exactly as he wanted it or had wanted it for her visit. The bed in
its southwestern corner stood neatly caparisoned...green figurine of skier,
Like Chorb he engages a receptionist or a prostitute ( like the two visists of
the same prostitute hired by Hugh at the Savoy. The prostitute and receptionist
look like Armande with blond bun ) and then, "on the imagined brink of imagined
bliss when Armande´s footfalls approached... her now indelible dawning thorugh
the limpid door of his room...(page 105)
Besides shifting characters ( letters in a text and character traits and entire
characters ) we find a supperposition of places:
Julia had affair with Hugh on a Flat at East Sixty-fifth, the room was the same
in which Julia had been with antoher guy ( Jimmy Major ) and there Hugh takes
Ch 20, page 81: in New York
" He betrayed her with another girl (...) spatially in this very room"
Ch 11, page 39: NY
"the bachelor flat Hugh rented (...) these rooms were the same in chich Julia
had visited one of her best young males a couple of years before" .
In Switzerland, Hugh tries to obtain the same room he shared with Armande. Also
with his father, Savoy( ?)
There are various references to Lolita-kind of love triangles ( as also in "Dar"
in Zina´s story ) : Mr. R, Hugh Person,etc.
If Julia and Armande can be "interchangeable" at times and Hugh appears as
Romeo, he might also be one of the "shadows" of Mister R. who in turn is Baron
R., or even Adam von Librikov and Julia´s Russian poet and lover ( she learns
to say :"yellow blue tibia" that is how I Love you sounded to her in
As it happens in dreams, all the characters in TT represent one aspect or
experience of a single writer and they shift or blend into one another.
Previous Discussions at the list :( Thanks to Carlyn Kunin for checking)
---------- Forwarded Message ----------
Date: Tuesday, August 03, 2004 9:27 PM -0500
From: John A Rea <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
Subject: Re: TT-6 green & death . Julia Moore + Armande = Guilia Romeo
> I just meant: In HP's nightmare, Julia Moore and Armande appear as Giulia
> Romeo, the dream name of the hooker HP met in Ch. 6. Armande, Julia and
> Giulia are mingled there for the first time, but Giulia and Armande have
> been secretly linked to each other by the color of repitle green, the
> color of ink shown through the hooker's (Giulia's) handbag and that of
> Armande's skis.
> Best, Akiko
FROM John Rea:
With these names, we have to assemble the informationa from various
places in the novel; and we must remember that Nabokov often made
more than one use of an item, such as a name, a word play, or even
The things I noticed here, are first, the fairly obvious fact that
'Julia' and 'Giulia' are simply English versus Italian forms of
the same name: scarcely different in pronunciation. Further,
'Romeo' is simply an anagram for 'Moore' (or: 'Moore' for 'Rome').
Next the name 'Romeo' in addition to being the "male lead"in the play
by Shakespeare (and the female one 'Juliet' a diminutive of 'Julia')
but has a dictionary meaning (in Italian, and earlier in Spanish, for
example) of "pilgrim" of course, in which meaning we can find it
peeking out here and ther in TT.
'Armande' "contains" (note my earlier reference to Nabokov's use of
this in his word play) "dream". We might worry over 'Armand(e) Rave'
as 'a raven dream' (my extra 'e' supplied: Nabokov's anagrams
sometimes wobble by a letter like this)
Back to Giulia Romeo (before my martini): if my attachment comes
through it will show you the brand of car which I once owned --
actually I owned two of them at different times-- although mine was
a different model.
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