Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0008689, Thu, 2 Oct 2003 08:55:50 -0700

Fw: pynchon-l-digest V2 #3582 PALE FIRE
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Subject: pynchon-l-digest V2 #3582

> pynchon-l-digest Thursday, October 2 2003 Volume 02 : Number
> RE: nobel prize watch
> RE: NPPF commentary line 149, p. 143- continued
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2003 06:39:48 +0100
> From: "Burns, Erik" <Erik.Burns@dowjones.com>
> Subject: RE: nobel prize watch
> German news agency dpa sez:
> "Stockholm (dpa). Kaum ist die Bekanntgabe des diesj袛hrigen Nobelpreises
> Literatur f协r Donnerstag anberaumt, ist in Stockholm eine kr袛ftige Welle
> Spekulationen in Gang gekommen. Nach Imre Kert袠sz (2002) und V.S. Naipaul
> (2001) hei褗t es, sei nun wieder ein afrikanischer oder ein amerikanischer
> Autor (Thomas Pynchon oder Philip Roth?) f袛llig. Solches Proporzdenken
> auch den Juroren unterstellt. Dass sich die 15 aktiven Mitglieder der
> Akademie in diesem Jahr sehr fr协h und schnell auf einen Preistr袛ger
> haben, spricht gegen eine 褝berraschung. Ein Indiz f协r die Wahl des
> S协dafrikaners J.M. Coetzee, der seit Jahren auf allen Favoritenlisten
> Afrika wurde seit 1991 (Nadine Gordimer) nicht bedacht. Gehandelt werden
> auch (und wieder) der in Spanien lebende Peruaner Mario Vargas Llosa und
> Portugiese Ant小nio Lobo Antunes."
> i.e. Pynchon, Roth, Coetzee, Vargas Llosa and Lobo Antunes.
> though can't believe they'd tap Portugal again so soon.
> etb
> ------------------------------
> Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2003 02:37:27 -0400 (EDT)
> From: Michael Joseph <mjoseph@rci.rutgers.edu>
> Subject: RE: NPPF commentary line 149, p. 143- continued
> Wm. Gass has said that sentences are little shimmied lengths of words
> endeavoring to be stretches of human awareness.
> Charles, the "real" king counterfeited in the counterfeit Kinbote's
> counterfeit commentary upon Shade's poem encounters on p. 143 a series of
> (distorted) mirror images--the "ripple-warped reflection" in the water, a
> phallic "steinmann" wearing a red cap, even, implicitly, the deity --
> "High up in the deep-blue sky jutted the empty ledge whereon a counterfeit
> king had just stood." (And what do we make of the "ripple-warped"
> proliferation of selves? Is there a sense of raw fertility, a primal,
> atavistic power of the imagination run amok? If Nabokov is ascribing being
> to the imagination, or suggesting that the imagination is a mode of
> consciousness, is it logical to assume that relational imaginative
> exchange constitutes a real, deeply human, mode of being, according to
> Nabokov, which, perhaps, may be symbolized by "proleptic" poem and
> "nostalgic" commentary?)
> Note that Charles's heart is described as "a conical ache poking him from
> below." A conical shape is of course a mound. At the heart of Charles is
> there another [phallic/hermetic/memento mori] steinmann/cairn/herm?
> No longer charmed by the discomfiture of the wench, Charles (the second)
> is confused by the puzzle of the multiplying Charleses; over him hangs the
> doom of choice as he loses the most basic powers of intuition.
> "... after a while he stopped again to take stock of conditions and decide
> whether to scramble up the steep debris slope in front of him or to strike
> off to the right along a strip of grass, gay with gentians, that went
> winding between lichened rocks." (143) The choice seems as clear as, say,
> the choice between sex and death, and yet it takes Charles--a king, whose
> royal function is to choose--a second or two to choose.
> Charles finishes his ascent at the top of p. 144, and begins his descent
> about halfway down the page. The geometry of the page signifies as Charles
> the signifier passes from recto to verso, from page bottom to top.
> Oddly, Charles's perceptions (which are consubstantial with Kinbote's)
> embrace imagery of violently forced sexual abstinence.
> "Falkberg with its hood of snow" (144) suggests a penis covered by a
> leperous foreskin (rather than a hardon with a ruddy head or an
> upright leader with a crown)
> "Paberg (Mt. Peacock), and others,--separated by narrow dim valleys with
> intercalated cotton-wool bits of cloud that seemed placed ... to prevent
> their flanks from scraping against one another" (144) suggests a kind of
> sexual restraint inhibiting consenting thighs.
> "Mt. Glitterntin a serrated edge of bright foil" (144) suggests a menacing
> gelding knife.
> "a tender haze enveloped more distant ridges" (144) suggests the painful,
> fading memory of one's one-time ridged (manly) self.
> ".. an endless array, through every grade of soft evanescence" (144)
> suggests disintegration, though perhaps ecstatic disintegration: a rainbow
> of indistinctiveness; the full monty of death.
> Is Charles unmanned by his transformation from king to commoner/subject?
> (or, perhaps, from a king fleeing his kingdom incognito to a commoner with
> a dirty secret, a not-quite-subject).
> Charles's complete escape from his subject position is modeled in his
> comedic encounter with the police (144) (and note the concidence of
> identity between the "black police car" and the "little negro of painted
> tin" (137): a Finnagin's Wake (HCE) moment).
> The policeman's ironic inability to recogize the "real" king has a
> pathetic edge. Charles is really now just an ordinary Charlie. Authority
> has divested him ("take off that red fufa. And the cap. Give them here")
> of his command and his name. Perhaps for the delusory Kinbote, the
> incapacity of the police to unmask Charles, which confirms him in his
> feigned identity (not a king, not a subject, something lost in
> translation), limns his own vast sense of loss.
> The policeman's interrogation: "What's your real name Charlie," is
> reminiscent of the soldier, Bernardo's interrogation "Who's there?" the
> first line of Hamlet, which is of course another text that probes
> questions of identity, and, like this the narrative at the bottom of p 144
> (the nadir of the verso), deals directly with the apparition of a king.
> Michael
> ------------------------------
> End of pynchon-l-digest V2 #3582
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