Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0008622, Mon, 22 Sep 2003 10:20:42 -0700

Fw: pynchon-l-digest V2 #3558 PALE FIRE
----- Original Message -----
From: "pynchon-l-digest" <owner-pynchon-l-digest@waste.org>
To: <pynchon-l-digest@waste.org>
Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2003 9:35 PM
Subject: pynchon-l-digest V2 #3558

> NPPF 1888

> NPPF Parachuting In ADA
> Re: NPPF More On Seizures - LATH
> Re: NPPF More On Seizures - LATH
> NPPR Commentary Lines 131-132: par. 1
> ------------------------------
> Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2003 13:28:56 -0700
> From: "sZ" <keithsz@concentric.net>
> Subject: NPPF 1888
> http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/1888
> Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2003 15:12:04 -0700
> From: "sZ" <keithsz@concentric.net>
> Subject: NPPF Parachuting In ADA
> "Although Lucette had never died before - no, dived before, Violet - from
> such a height, in such a disorder of shadows and snaking reflections, she
> went with hardly a splash through the wave that humped to welcome her.
> perfect end was spoiled by her instinctively surfacing in an immediate
> sweep - instead of surrendering under water to her drugged lassitude as
> had planned to do on her last night ashore if it ever did come to this.
> silly girl had not rehearsed the technique of suicide as, say, free-fall
> parachutists do every day in the element of another chapter."
> Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2003 22:51:13 -0400
> From: "Don Corathers" <gumbo@fuse.net>
> Subject: Re: VLVL: What troubles Zoyd's sleep?
> > Macbeth and BV are not tragic figures.
> I agree with you about Brock--Brock's an undiluted asshole--but on the
> point you're arguing with Shakespeare and 400 years of literary tradition.
> Don
> ------------------------------
> Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2003 23:26:27 -0400
> From: "Don Corathers" <gumbo@fuse.net>
> Subject: Re: NPPF More On Seizures - LATH
> I'd like to hear Charles (or someone) expand on this. I've done a little
> of Googly reading and I understand the idea that a seizure might produce a
> fugue state in which an individual would be separated from his former
> identity. The principle of how this might apply to a reading of Pale Fire
> obvious, but I'm completely fogged in as to how it might resort the
> narrative and the internal authorship questions. A theory, please.
> Don
> - ----- Original Message -----
> From: "charles albert" <calbert@hslboxmaster.com>
> To: <pynchon-l@waste.org>
> Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 11:11 AM
> Subject: Re: NPPF More On Seizures - LATH
> > I assure you that I am not holding out....I am hoping that someone more
> > qualified can engage the matter, and that in unison we might make
> > progress....
> >
> > But the short version of what I do understand is as follows.
> >
> > Fugue state is an element of grand mal seizures, and involve the
> > of a differentiated personality which takes "flight", literally.....A
> > prominent example would be Kaspar Hauser
> > http://kbs.cs.tu-berlin.de/~jutta/me/notes/kaspar-hauser.html
> >
> > One problem with this angle is that, if relevant, it informs the
> > relationship between Shade and Kinbote in a fairly definitive way, and
> this,
> > in turn, creates a problem with respect to the "timing" of such a
> discussion
> > in the current read. I am fairly confident that I may be on the right
> > track - but I would love to hear some kind of challenge to my
> > from the assembled learned.....
> >
> > I also must admit that I have been sending you such hints under the
> > assumption that you were in a related field.....
> >
> > It is lonely out here in left field - a few moments with google
> > fugue state") would bring anyone to the point where I am at.........and
> > urge the bright lights to take a look at this angle and prod the
> discussion
> > along....
> >
> > Furthermore, I must plead extenuating circumstances in my personal and
> > professional life which I had no way to anticipate when I joined those
> > arguing for this effort - I had visions of a summer devoted to Nab and
> > golf game, and I've been screwed.......
> >
> > And I type even more slowly than I think.....
> >
> > I can appreciate your pique - but run with the plea for assistance, and
> > let's see what it yields...
> >
> > love,
> > cfa
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "sZ" <keithsz@concentric.net>
> > To: <pynchon-l@waste.org>
> > Sent: Monday, September 15, 2003 10:10 AM
> > Subject: Re: NPPF More On Seizures - LATH
> >
> >
> > > >>>I would urge anyone seeking to grasp the function of seizures in PF
> to
> > > learn
> > > about "fugue states"<<<
> > >
> > > I would urge you to share your research and connections as part of the
> > group
> > > read.
> Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2003 20:59:34 -0700
> From: "Keith McMullen" <keithsz@concentric.net>
> Subject: Re: NPPF More On Seizures - LATH
> >>> A theory, please. <<<
> Why in the index are the letters G, K, and S (which see) said to be
> for the main characters, then when you 'see which,' you find entries for G
> and K, and none for S?
> Does 'slain' refer to being slain by a seizure, or does it refer to being
> killed?
> Either way, isn't Shade the only character 'slain' in the novel?
> ------------------------------
> Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2003 00:33:24 -0400 (EDT)
> From: Michael Joseph <mjoseph@rci.rutgers.edu>
> Subject: NPPR Commentary Lines 131-132: par. 1
> Lines 131-132: I was the shadow of the waxwing slain by feigned remoteness
> in the windowpane.
> Shade's poem returns to its beginning, though elegantly varying "the false
> azure" with "feigned remoteness." Kinbote does more than a competent
> analysis, noting "the repetition of that long-drawn note" ['-ain'] and
> finding "a kind of languourous pleasure" in it. He declares that the note
> is "saved from monotony" by the additional repetition of the sound in
> "feigned," which strikes us as sensitively attuned to the sound of the
> poem, and nicely self-revelatory, in that Kinbote's choice of
> "languourous" seems to distinguish his own palate (palette?).
> (It's worth noting that, providing the playful assonance, Shade twists the
> meaning of his preceding line "I never bounced a ball or swung a bat." In
> fact, his quantitative meter and assonance suggests a kind of verse play
> for which bouncing a ball and swinging a bat might serve as metaphors.)
> Kinbote's ghostly simile "as would the echo of some half-remembered
> sorrowful song whose strain is more meaningful than its words" transits us
> into his 'history' of Gradus, but allows us to experience the refrain's
> underlying sense of loss (and of course "strain"), which clings to the
> first canto. [See WB Yeats's "I am of Ireland" for another example of a
> poem that uses this device to achieve a similar effect
> http://www.plagiarist.com/text/?wid=3372]. In Kinbote's response perhaps
> lurks an allusion by Navokov to Shade's "contrapuntal theme;/. . . not
> text but texture . ..."
> Kinbote's response then indeed grows "topsy-turvical" when he conflates
> Shade and Gradus: "We feel doom, in the image of Gradus, eating away the
> miles and miles of 'feigned remoteness' between him and poor Shade. He,
> too, is to meet, in his urgent and blind flight, a reflection that will
> shatter him. [etc.]" Were there actually a Gradus the image would be
> trite, but since he exists merely as a phantom of Kinbote's imagination-or
> not merely, but a phantom produced within Kinbote's imagination by the
> force of his collision with the poem, we cannot easily dismiss it. Fact,
> in Kinbote's proferred description of the animated Gradus "The force
> propelling him is the magic action of Shade's poem itself, the very
> mechanism and sweep of verse, the powerful iambic motor," there is a
> succinct evocation and demonstration of Kinbote's own fluxion. Re-reading
> lines 131-32 against a reading of Kinbote within "the image [!] of Gradus"
> as a transposed Shade, we see that Kinbote is himself implicated. The
> "feigned remoteness" now may be seen to refer to Kinbote's false pretence
> of objectively commentating on Shade's poem (feigning the critic's stance
> of detachment in order to read the poem as a method of self-invention).
> Kinbote's relish of his own imagination is subtly mocked in the bombastic
> praise he lavishes upon the obscure "form."("NEVER BEFORE [caps mine] has
> the inexorable advance of fate received such a sensuous form," he
> exclaims, embracing the "form" while completely parting company with the
> actual poem.) But his rapture, asinine though it is, is agreeably
> spirited, and I think we are moved into sympathy with Kinbote because we
> think we recognize a tremor of dread at what he perceives as an image of
> his own death. Looking into Shade's glass -- the "mirrorplay and mirage
> shimmer" of lines 131-32-- Kinbote spies his own "shattering," that is,
> not only his own fragmenting (into subpersonalities - Gradus, Charles,
> etc.) but his death.
> "(for other images of that transcendental tramp's approach see note to
> line 17)."
> My last comment on this note: as well as snapping off his own commentary
> (without touching upon lines 133-136--Kinbote's erasures may be as
> important as his dilations), Kinbote's odd, merry alliteration rings
> against another alliteration three quarters of the way down p. 77 in the
> Vintage paperback ed., under note to line 17: "We find him next engaging
> in petty subversive activities--printing peevish pamphlets, acting as
> messenger for obscure syndicalist groups, organizing strikes at glass
> factories, and that sort of thing." I have to confess that it is my nature
> to see authors writing themselves into their texts in ways sometimes only
> slightly more subtle than Hitchcock filming himself into his own movies,
> and it may be that you have to share this vantage point in order to agree
> with me here. Nevertheless, I want to throw out for your possibly dubious
> consideration (too), the idea that in this highly self-conscious use of
> alliteration (remember, the note began with Kinbote doing prosody),
> Nabokov is invoking himself, that it is really he and not any other
> character who qualifies as a "transcendental tramp," since it is only he
> who operates above the plane of action, and, while Nabokov is certainly
> not "printing" or causing to be printed pamphlets which are "Morose,
> querulous, irritable, ill-tempered, childishly fretful" (OED), it may be
> pointed out that, in "Pale Fire" he is causing to be printed somethng that
> is "headstrong, obstinate; self-willed." (OED) And of course he does
> "organize a strike at [a] glass" {grin} if not a glass "factory."
> Michael
> ------------------------------
> End of pynchon-l-digest V2 #3558
> ********************************