Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0008803, Mon, 27 Oct 2003 09:56:03 -0800

[Fwd: Re: ADA and Orphic mysteries]
EDNOTE. Mary Bellino is a classisist and esteem Associate Editor of

-------- Original Message --------
From: - Mon Oct 27 09:35:06 2003
X-UIDL: <3F9D1E4F.C19BF2B9@rcn.com>
X-Mozilla-Status: 0011
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
Received: from mail.lsit.ucsb.edu ([]) by
fed1mtai02.cox.net (InterMail vM.
201-253-122-130-105-20030824) with ESMTP id
<20031027132915.FAE12753.fed1mtai02.cox.net@mail.lsit.ucsb.edu> for
<chtodel@cox.net>; Mon, 27 Oct 2003 08:29:15 -0500
Received: by mail.lsit.ucsb.edu (Postfix) id 9AEE1404F33; Mon, 27 Oct
2003 05:29:12 -0800 (PST)
Delivered-To: chtodel@gss.ucsb.edu
Received: from mail.lsit.ucsb.edu (localhost []) by localhost
(Postfix) with ESMTP id 77F034052E5 for <CHTODEL@GSS.UCSB.EDU>; Mon, 27
Oct 2003 05:29:12 -0800 (PST)
Received: from ucsbuxa.ucsb.edu (ucsbuxa.ucsb.edu []) by
mail.lsit.ucsb.edu (Postfix) with ESMTP id 179EC400865 for
<CHTODEL@GSS.UCSB.EDU>; Mon, 27 Oct 2003 05:29:12 -0800 (PST)
Received: from ucsbuxa (listserv.ucsb.edu []) by
ucsbuxa.ucsb.edu (8.11.7p1+Sun/8.8.5) with ESMTP id h9RDTA013466 for
<CHTODEL@GSS.UCSB.EDU>; Mon, 27 Oct 2003 05:29:10 -0800 (PST)
Received: from smtp03.mrf.mail.rcn.net (smtp03.mrf.mail.rcn.net
[]) by ucsbuxa.ucsb.edu (8.11.7p1+Sun/8.8.5) with ESMTP id
h9RDT9013462 for <NABOKV-L@listserv.ucsb.edu>; Mon, 27 Oct 2003 05:29:09
-0800 (PST)
Received: from 209-150-34-205.s625.tnt1.spfd.ma.dialup.rcn.com
([] helo=rcn.com) by smtp03.mrf.mail.rcn.net with esmtp
(Exim 3.35 #4) id 1AE7Qi-0002dD-00 for NABOKV-L@listserv.ucsb.edu; Mon,
27 Oct 2003 08:29:09 -0500
Message-ID: <3F9D1E4F.C19BF2B9@rcn.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2003 08:32:05 -0500
From: Mary Bellino <iambe@rcn.com>
Reply-To: iambe@rcn.com
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.51 (Macintosh; I; PPC)
X-Accept-Language: en
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@listserv.ucsb.edu>
Subject: Re: ADA and Orphic mysteries
References: <3F9C61AD.6000102@cox.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

>From Mary Bellino (iambe@rcn.com):

It may not be accurate to say that the Orphic religion (if
indeed there was such a thing apart from the Orphic texts
and itinerant sorcerers) was "opposed to he official
religion of the state as represented by the Olympic gods";
the trend in recent scholarship has been to link Orphism
with the Bacchic and Eleusinian cults, and of course both
Dionysus and Demeter are central to ancient Athenian

There is a large scholarly bibliography on Orphism, and an
even larger unscholarly one (internet sources are
particularly suspect). A good recent survey article is
Robert Parker, "Early Orphism," in _The Greek World_, ed.
Anton Powell (Routledge 1995) 483-510.

Orpheus himself appears in Nabokov's work from time to time
(for example, the statue of Orpheus in "The Return of
Chorb") but generally the allusion is to the
Orpheus-Eurydice story (Ovid Met. 10-11).


> I was wondering why VN´s short-stories are not given a
> special place for discussion.They may bring out certain
> aspects of VN´s cosmological views more clearly than we
> can reach through his longer and more complex novels,
> where we may be torn between following his
> puzzle/mathematical propositions, his anagrammatic word
> games and his magical suspension of scenery creating an
> almost palpable unreality.
> I have no idea why I ended up researching Orphic rites
> yesterday and it amazed me to find a similarity with some
> of VN´s ideas about Terran/Antiterran relationships.
> Orphic religion had apparently been opposed to the
> official religion of the state as represented by the
> Olympic gods and Homeric cosmology. Their emphasis in
> cyclic versus historical time, time and memory also
> stimulated me to research more deeply connections between
> what is being developped in ADA and Orphic and Eleusian
> mysteries.
> Jansy