NABOKV-L post 0008821, Wed, 29 Oct 2003 12:01:57 -0800

Re: ADA and Orphic mysteries (fwd) (fwd)
------------------ Concerning Orphic Mysteries, the source I used on the
matter of orphism came from a Brazilian specialist in Greek Mythology,
Junito Brandão. I selected them from his " Dicionário Mítico-Etimológico".

Junito Brandão based several of his observations on data collected from R.
Pettazzoni, Martin P. Nilsson, J. Holzner, K. Prümm and Guthrie and was
inspired on data from or about Onomacritus, besides Hesiod, Plato,
Euripides and Empedocles.

Unfortunately I don´t know from which source he reached the conclusion that
orphism introduced significant transformations in Greek official religion.
Junito stated that he has found serious indications that Orphism anteceded
Homeric texts, Greek VI BC mentality and "the Olympic religion of Appolus or
the Mediterranean tradition".
Junito Brandão concludes that Orphism started as a sect that worshipped
Dionysus/Zagreus and practiced vegetarianism, sustained ascetic ideals and
worked with khatarsis. They also held a belief in metempsychosis.

Jansy Mello

----- Original Message -----
From: "Donald B. Johnson" <>
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 1:50 PM
Subject: Re: ADA and Orphic mysteries (fwd)

---------- Forwarded Message ----------
Date: Monday, October 27, 2003 8:32 AM -0500
From: Mary Bellino <>
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <>
Subject: Re: ADA and Orphic mysteries

------------------ From Mary Bellino (

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

---------- End Forwarded Message ----------

D. Barton Johnson

---------- End Forwarded Message ----------

D. Barton Johnson