Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0008791, Thu, 23 Oct 2003 10:21:53 -0700

Fwd: pynchon-l-digest V2 #3610
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Date: Sat, 18 Oct 2003 02:00:10 -0500
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Subject: pynchon-l-digest V2 #3610
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pynchon-l-digest Saturday, October 18 2003 Volume 02 : Number 3610

Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2003 14:25:05 -0700
From: "Glenn Scheper" <glenn_scheper@earthlink.net>
Subject: RE: NPPR Commentary Lines 80, 91, 130,

If Pynchon has lost our tantric faith, surely not VN.
I sought evidence of a specific VN tantric awareness,
that is: that a tantric meditation irrupts into the
past, surprising even the perpetrator, as if it were
changing the past to agree with forced revised memory.

nabokov's poetics of vision

One early work in particular (Kamera obskura, 1933;
Laughter in the Dark, 1938/1965) dwells on Tolstoy with a
concentration that might induce us to wonder about the
nature of the Tolstoyan influence on Nabokov's early
a closer reading in fact suggests that Tolstoy remains
obstinately committed to an opposite mode of seeing: the
post-Renaissance paradigm of direct perspective, with its
solitary eye gazing on the world through a window, frame, or

a dozen notes to nabokov's short stories

To add to Simpson's fascination, McGore shares a
"secret": years of dealing with paintings have taught him
that through an act of concentrated will one can enter the
space of a given painting and explore it from within.

"La Veneziana" embodies several key elements to become
central to Nabokov's poetics. Afloat in the story's
enchanting and elegant syntax, and never fully synthesized
and harmonized, these elements call for scrutiny. One should
start paying increasing attention to Nabokov's concern with
the problem of entering a space whose parameters differ from
the regular space enveloping a character.

Sitetracked reading the Silvery Light, which appears to be
a VN work in which a biographer Kinbote seeks out dead VN;
I found that theme, and my favorite things, AF innuendoes:
http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/silver1.htm (2,3,...)

Ch 3:
and the book's final paragraphs, gradually affirm the
existence of a Mary wholly his own, an image with more
substance in his own head and heart than the flesh-and-blood
stranger, another man's wife, due to arrive Saturday next.
In the end it is this mental simulacrum which gains
ascendancy over dull reality, inevitably disappointing when
compared with imagination's timeless, sparkling, infinitely
plastic realm:

ending of Bend Sinister, in which "comfortably
Krug returns unto the bosom of his maker,"

Ch 4: (read - as marking an appositive:)
the possibility that human existence, with its
stomach-sucking abyss of laughter and tears

Ch 5:
On Sunday K. explained to me a story he had written years
ago about a man who wakes up to find himself transformed
into a giant insect. He seemed much amused by this and began
coughing so strenuously that I feared the effort would be
too much for his wasted frame. I asked him about how he came
to have this idea. He responded immediately, SWALLOWING HARD
between phrases, but still very cheerful, ... (my caps)

Ch 6: I found another hover! Moth=self, as also Ch 9.
This Hovering Honeyed Mist

A moth was bouncing off the
smoky ceiling around it in inverted parabolas, like a small
resilient object caught in the gravity of some upside-down
dimension interpenetrating our own.

I swallowed what little spit I had and gulped a mouthful of
spiced air.

...the moth. I paused to look. It lay on its back, its
furry feet flimmering frantically, soundlessly, in the air
above it. Then the wings took up the rapid rhythm...

Ch 8: (I say AF as poetic) dying; That ineffable name.
That Nabokov did not die of natural causes is only now
beginning to be publicly acknowledged. His "mysterious"
death, variously attributed to a fall, a viral infection,
pneumonia, or mundane cardiac arrest, is now known to have
been caused, or at least hastened along, by a special,
nearly untraceable poison whose unpronounceable name I will
not reveal here for fear that some unbalanced individual
bearing a grudge against a family member, former love, noisy
neighbor, or Department Head
might seek it out. The substance is readily available. It
is odorless, flavorless, and difficult to detect unless a
thorough autopsy is performed by an experienced medical
examiner soon after the victim's death.

Ch 9:
The first of
these was a poisoning viciously perpetrated on Pushkin's
birthday, June 6, 1944, which failed when an acutely ill VN,
then studying the genitalia of Malaysian lepidoptera at the
Museum of Comparative Zoology in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
stepped outside the building to vomit profusely--thereby
expelling the poison, a mixture of strychnine and tannin,
from his aching stomach.

Ch 9: (two hands signifies a metamorphosis)
Even as a young child, then, our lonely king has his mantle,
but it is not until he reaches seedy manhood that he
receives a crown, and, simultaneously, a queen:
(Russian snipped)
And to all this was added a veiled bride, and a crown that
trembled in the air over his very head and looked as if it
might fall at any minute [again the theme of falling, and
again a reference to the heartrending precariousness of
kingship]. He squinted at it cautiously and it seemed to him
once or twice that the invisible hand of someone holding the
crown passed it to another, also invisible, hand

Yours truly,
Glenn Scheper
glenn_scheper + at + earthlink.net
Copyleft(!) Forward freely.


Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2003 14:33:21 -0700
From: "Glenn Scheper" <glenn_scheper@earthlink.net>
Subject: RE: NPPR Commentary Lines 80, 91, 130,

Crossing my own post, I see Silvery Light is NOT by VN:
> Silvery Light is a very clever novel-in-progress
> by Jeff Edmunds and available on ZEMBLA.

I looked to see, and VN was not specified as the author,
but I decided from the number of AF-domain isomorphisms,
that it would have been from him.


And then again, not sorry, merely further stretched.

Yours truly,
Glenn Scheper
glenn_scheper + at + earthlink.net
Copyleft(!) Forward freely.