Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0008691, Thu, 2 Oct 2003 09:40:20 -0700

Fw: cinderella/death theme

----- Original Message -----
From: Jansy Berndt de Souza Mello
To: D. Barton Johnson
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 6:07 AM
Subject: cinderella/death theme

I would like to return to the idea of Freud´s hidden presence in VN´s ADA! If you could read Freud´s beautiful text joining together The Merchant of Venice and King Lear ( in The Theme of the Three CAskets" or " Das Motiv der Kästschenwahl" ) , written in 1913, you´d understand why.
In Ada we find recurrent references to Cinderella ( words like Ashette, for example, or more direct referenteces to Blanche´s lost shoes or pumpkin arrival after midnight, Ada holding a shoe in her hand...). Cordula doesn´t seem to be a reference to Cordelia, but Freud definitely links Cordelia to Cinderella and to Death ( he also brings a note about Hoffman´s La Belle Helene, have I read something about Chateaubriand´s in ADA?).
King Lear´s misquotation in the "never, never,never is green" translation by Ada is associated a little earlier to the Jew/Christian theme plus the Merchant of Venice.
Those two plays by Shakespeare that are intertwined by Freud, are also connected to Cinderella. Freud is actually discussing old men´s difficulty to deal with death, also bringing a resonance to Van´s indignation about historical time, death and decay in contrast to Marina´s "hindoo" references that now bring about the idea of transformations, metempsychosis and rebirth.
Another curiosity: although there are depreciatory remarks about Sweeney Agonistes and T.S. Eliot, there is no direct reference to Ash Wednesday, where the idea of dried bones ( camel´s ribs in Ada?) appears as well as the repetition of "Because I shall not return again, because...because... " in a kind of echo to Ada´s "never, never" in a very Christian opposition to the idea of the eternal return and an assertion of human mortaility.
I´m not consulting Ada now, nor Eliot. Just bringing those two references to bear on VN ( will they make sense?) and linking them to Freud 1913 interesting article.
Why daisy is not put together to "margarita", aren´t they the same flower?
What kind of tree is an Ash tree? ( just random associative indulgences now..)
Best wishes, Jansy