Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0008646, Thu, 25 Sep 2003 18:41:33 -0700

EDNOTE. NABOKV-L thanks Jansy for this information.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jansy Berndt de Souza Mello" <jansy@aetern.us>
> Today I discovered a reference to Goethe in Ada. Nobody will believe it,
> course. It is to his book "Mignon" ( also about incest) because of the
> of the Russian words: " Do you remember" that were repeated by Brian Boyd
> his annotations ( in "The Nabokovian",2001, no.47). They sounded like "
> Kennst du das Land wo die Zitronen blühen"? where later comes the
> lament " Nunn wer die Sehnsucht kennt weisst was Ich leide" (only those
> know what longing is can realize the pain I feel now) . Boyd was writing
> about "cultivated nostalgia" and Nabokov´s childhood reading of
> Chateaubriand...
> There is a book about Chateaubriand (and others) that might interest you.
> Its title is " The Love Affair as a Work of Art" by Dan Hofstadter ( not
> the one that wrote Goedel,Escher,Bach...where there are lots of Moebius
> strips and self-referencing sentences) .

> The author shows how Chateaubriand and Mme Récamier wrote with an eye for
> their future readers. They used to confer with each other about what they
> had written in their diaries and in their letters with their "cultivated
> nostalgic" recollections. Just like Nabokov seems to be doing with Van and
> Ada.
> Before BB explained VN´s link to Chateaubriand I had not realized that the
> association could be carried further. Specially because at the time Dan
> Hofstadter describes both Chateaubriand and Récamier were a courting old
> couple with a rich past, as were Van and Ada.
> There is still something else that I would like to call your attention,
> inspired in BB´s comments. You had asked me about the Freud reference to
> Ségur and I told you it was written in Freud´s " A Child is Being Beaten".
> This text is famous because it deals with sex differences and how boys and
> girls recollect differently and how their fantasy life is peculiar to
> sex.
> Brian Boyd had quoted " If their recollections now and then did not tally,
> this was often owing to sexual differences rather than to individual
> temperament" and in the end of his note he concluded: " Although
> psychologists have studied differences in mal and femal sex fantasies (
> summarized in Byss 1994, 81-83 ), they appear not to have studied whether
> not there are sex differences in recall" . Freud´s text points exactly to
> this aspect but brings in "repression" operating differently and
> the differences in recall.
> Perhaps VN didn´t want to ackowledge directly that he´d read Freud (
> Best,
> Jansy