Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0008876, Fri, 7 Nov 2003 12:14:02 -0800

Fw: pynchon-l-digest V2 #3642 Pale Fire
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From: "pynchon-l-digest" <owner-pynchon-l-digest@waste.org>
To: <pynchon-l-digest@waste.org>
Sent: Friday, November 07, 2003 9:51 AM
Subject: pynchon-l-digest V2 #3642

> pynchon-l-digest Friday, November 7 2003 Volume 02 : Number
> NPPF--commentary--615--two tongues
> NPPF--commentary--619--tuber's eye
> Re: NPPF--commentary--615--two tongues

> NPPF--commentary--627--The great Starover Blue
> NP: Exclusive Joseph Wilson Interview
> NPPF--commentary--629--The fate of beasts
> NPPF--commentary--662--Who rides so late in the night and the windTr
> NPPF--commentary--671-672--The Untamed Seahorse

> NPPF--commentary--678--into French
> NPPF--commentary--680--Lolita
> NPPF--commentary--681--gloomy Russians spied
> NPPF--commentary--682--Lang

> ------------------------------
> Date: 07 Nov 2003 10:17:18 -0500
> From: Paul Mackin <paul.mackin@verizon.net>
> Subject: NPPF--commentary--615--two tongues
> About all I notice here is that the English-Russian combination is the
> only one mentioned more than once and that "American and European" is
> not a combination of languages. One's most immediate thought might be
> that K is, like Nabokov, a Russian and European living in America and
> writing in English. Good a guess as any I think.
> ------------------------------
> Date: 07 Nov 2003 10:19:49 -0500
> From: Paul Mackin <paul.mackin@verizon.net>
> Subject: NPPF--commentary--619--tuber's eye
> Line 502 we recall explained "the grand potato" pun. (le grand
> peut-etre) The possibility of survival after death. (the big perhaps)
> Potatoes are tubers with eyes that sprout. Probably everyone knows this
> but to grow potatoes you cut one that's ready to sprout into pieces,
> each piece with an eye, and bury them a little below the ground.
> In other words, as a possible alternative to "le grand neant" (the big
> nothingness) following death, there could be some kind of regeneration
> and afterlife.
> Is there more here?
> ------------------------------
> ------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 07 Nov 2003 15:43:16 +0000
> From: "Ghetta Life" <ghetta_outta@hotmail.com>
> Subject: Re: NPPF--commentary--615--two tongues
> >From: Paul Mackin <paul.mackin@verizon.net>
> >About all I notice here is that the English-Russian combination is the
> >one mentioned more than once and that "American and European" is not a
> >combination of languages. One's most immediate thought might be that K
> >like Nabokov, a Russian and European living in America and writing in
> >English. Good a guess as any I think.
> Kinbote thinks the "two tongues" refers to language, but I can't see why
> Shade would make this reference. It seems to me that two tongues evokes a
> sinister image, like a forked tongue of a serpent, one fork for invading
> each lung. Very sexual overtones in this image too.
> Ghetta
> _________________________________________________________________
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> ------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2003 07:51:34 -0800
> From: "Glenn Scheper" <glenn_scheper@earthlink.net>
> Subject: RE: VLVL2 (9): Whew!!
> > Unfortunately, my computer got so clogged with pop-ups and
> > labyrinthian side-sites that it crashed on me.
> You need to try my SURF for such things. It only ever brings back HTML
> pages, nicely wrapped as mostly text with only the offpage anchors,
> and never goes back for graphics, and runs no scripts, etc. It also
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> Surf 1.7 - This is my favorite tool for Internet text discovery.
> I go into a clean directory, and say "surf -q topic", and after a
> little while, I have lots of HTML files full of text from web pages
> that mention topic. I read them in Brief, Notepad or double-click
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> Executable:
> http://home.earthlink.net/~glenn_scheper/surf17.exe
> Source Code:
> http://home.earthlink.net/~glenn_scheper/surf17.cpp
> Yours truly,
> Glenn Scheper
> http://home.earthlink.net/~glenn_scheper/
> glenn_scheper + at + earthlink.net
> Copyleft(!) Forward freely.
> ------------------------------
> Date: 07 Nov 2003 10:58:19 -0500
> From: Paul Mackin <paul.mackin@verizon.net>
> Subject: NPPF--commentary--627--The great Starover Blue
> Starover Blue was characterized earlier in the poem as "college
> astronomer."
> It's so like K to relate his chagrin at not getting more of the Zembla
> story into the poem to a dubious moral judgement. Or the fact that there
> were other great men in the poet's acquaintance.I forget who Oscar
> Nattochdag is.
> We get some riffing on the appropriateness of the name and some
> genealogy. His mother's name of course means star.
> Starover Blue was referred to earlier as lean and glum. I don't remember
> his being call honest. Must of missed it.
> ------------------------------
> ------------------------------
> Date: 07 Nov 2003 11:42:57 -0500
> From: Paul Mackin <paul.mackin@verizon.net>
> Subject: NPPF--commentary--629--The fate of beasts
> The commentary is mostly about the alleged variant (The madman's fate)
> rather than what S ended up with.
> "Even in Arcadia am I,: says Dementia, chained to her gray column. (says
> K in speaking about cases of lunacy in New Wye)
> Apart from Dementia and her gray column, the origin of the phrase "Et in
> Arcadia ego" apparently can only be speculated upon. We know it does not
> originate in antiquity (not in Virgil).Panofsky suggests the possibility
> that Pope Clement IX coined it while still a humble poet monk. Or maybe
> later when he commissioned a painting by Guercino (an old friend) in
> which the words appear on a scroll issuing from a death's head on a tomb
> in Arcadia. According to Panofsky, correct Latin requires that "ego" be
> the subject of the sentence. Therefore Death is the speaker. (in G's
> painting)
> The sense of "Et in Arcadia ego" is apparently that there is death even
> in mythological Arcadia. A land of perfection. In some ways New Wye is
> an Arcadia but people still go crazy there for which K gives an example.
> The greater example might have been K himself. Is he Dementia chained to
> her gray columnn? Possible tie in with Gradus.
> Famous Poussin painting "Et in Arcadia" depicts Shepherds discovering a
> tomb. The deaths head is absent. The Poussin painting was done a few
> years after that of Guercino.
> Apparently Shade was of the opinion that the appearance of madness under
> certain circumstances might be a sign of health. (possibly after
> prominent psychiatrist of day Laing) He disabuses Mrs. H's view with
> regard to the the railway employee's behavior..
> Hudibrastic refers to poems like Samual Butler's Hudibras.
> Mock-heroic eight syllable couplets.
> Not the Samual Butler who wrote Erewhon and The Way of All Flesh but the
> 17th C. poet.
> Might have thought K would have cut Butler's versification more slack
> since Hudibras was anti-puritan and admired by Charles II.
> ------------------------------
>> Date: 07 Nov 2003 11:53:38 -0500
> From: Paul Mackin <paul.mackin@verizon.net>
> Subject: NPPF--commentary--662--Who rides so late in the night and the
> Wer reitet so spДt durch Nacht und Wind?
> Es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind;
> Er hat den Knaben wohl in dem Arm,
> Er fasst ihn sicher, er hДlt ihn warm.
> K is drawing on the fact that wind (wind) and kind (child) rhyme. He
> notes that in Zemblan these words also rhyme, as is also the case in
> French (vent and enfant). In English it is wild and child that rhyme.
> (which is convenient for Shade) See English translation of Goethe below.
> Are these kinds of coincidences supposed to point to something else in
> the poem? Is there an echo here of the similarity of white fountain and
> white mountain--that Shade had seen as a some kind of message from
> beyond. (don't know)
> Charles II recites the poem during his flight over the mountains.
> The Elf King, 1782
> Who rides so late in the night so wild?
> It is a father with his child.
> He cradles his offspring in his arm.
> Tightly he holds him to keep him from harm.
> My son, why do you fear and hide your face?
> Look father, it's the king of the elven race.
> Can you not see his cape and his crown?
> It's an illusion as the fog settles down.
> Oh beloved child, come unto me.
> So many games will I play with thee.
> Colorful flowers grow in my land,
> Sown by my mother's own loving hand.
> Oh father, can't you hear him, can't you see
> The offer the elf king is making to me?
> Calm yourself, child, it's only the breeze,
> The sound of the leaves quaking in the trees.
> Sweet, gentle boy, won't you come along.
> My daughters await to sing you their song.
> They will care for you, give them a chance.
> They will comfort you and teach you to dance.
> Oh my father, listen to me, please.
> The elf king's daughters my soul will seize.
> My son, I've looked, there's nothing to find.
> The darkness plays tricks on the innocent mind.
> I love your beauty, won't you come down off that horse?
> Since you won't come willingly, I'll take you by force.
> Father, please help, I'm in his embrace.
> The elf king has severed my soul from god's grace.
> The terrified father streaked off with alarm,
> Holding his pale son within his arm.
> He reached the farmhouse in fear and dread,
> too late for the boy, who already was dead.
> ------------------------------
> Date: 07 Nov 2003 12:00:36 -0500
> From: Paul Mackin <paul.mackin@verizon.net>
> Subject: NPPF--commentary--671-672--The Untamed Seahorse
> Browning's "My Last Duchess" is below.
> K's criticism of S's using the variant of Browning's phrase (next to last
> as the title for his collection seems quite silly.
> I was wondering if Seahorse has any further connotation here. The Seahorse
> Society is a self help organization for cross dressers and trans-gender
> Was Aunt Maud a man? Naw.(were mason and dixon really Charlotte and
> As to Browning's dramatic monologue, does the narrator bear some
resemblance to
> K in his apparent contempt for women?
> My Last Duchess
> 1That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,
> 2Looking as if she were alive. I call
> 3That piece a wonder, now: FrЮ Pandolf's hands
> 4Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
> 5Will 't please you sit and look at her? I said
> 6"FrЮ Pandolf" by design, for never read
> 7Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
> 8The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
> 9But to myself they turned (since none puts by
> 10The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
> 11And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
> 12How such a glance came there; so, not the first
> 13Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, 'twas not
> 14Her husband's presence only, called that spot
> 15Of joy into the Duchess' cheek: perhaps
> 16FrЮ Pandolf chanced to say, "Her mantle laps
> 17Over my Lady's wrist too much," or "Paint
> 18Must never hope to reproduce the faint
> 19Half-flush that dies along her throat"; such stuff
> 20Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
> 21For calling up that spot of joy. She had
> 22A heart . . . how shall I say? . . . too soon made glad,
> 23Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er
> 24She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
> 25Sir, 'twas all one! My favour at her breast,
> 26The dropping of the daylight in the West,
> 27The bough of cherries some officious fool
> 28Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
> 29She rode with round the terrace--all and each
> 30Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
> 31Or blush, at least. She thanked men,--good; but thanked
> 32Somehow . . . I know not how . . . as if she ranked
> 33My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
> 34With anybody's gift. Who'd stoop to blame
> 35This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
> 36In speech--(which I have not)--to make your will
> 37Quite clear to such an one, and say, "Just this
> 38Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
> 39Or there exceed the mark"--and if she let
> 40Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
> 41Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,
> 42--E'en then would be some stooping; and I chuse
> 43Never to stoop. Oh, sir, she smiled, no doubt,
> 44Whene'er I passed her; but who passed without
> 45Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
> 46Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
> 47As if alive. Will 't please you rise? We'll meet
> 48The company below, then. I repeat,
> 49The Count your Master's known munificence
> 50Is ample warrant that no just pretence
> 51Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
> 52Though his fair daughter's self, as I avowed
> 53At starting, is my object. Nay, we'll go
> 54Together down, Sir! Notice Neptune, though,
> 55Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
> 56Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me.
> ------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 07 Nov 2003 12:18:43 -0500
> From: Terrance <lycidas2@earthlink.net>
> Subject: Re: Simpsons, German
> >And well, of course... German is without any doubt one of the most
difficult languages.
> What makes German any more or less difficult than any other language?
> Depends on lots of things, right?
> For example, German infants learn German at about the same pace as
> French infants learn French. Don't they?
> And, while English phonetics are more difficult than Italian
> phonetics, native speakers manage to learn English phonetics. Some L2
> learners (and age is a factor here too) have great difficulty with
> English phonetics and some don't.
> Complicated stuff, language.
> un en der able
> door.
> door?
> Yes, un en DOOR able
> U your un en door able
> V your va lore able
> W
> and X me to love two
> Y
> Be cauzzz be cau zzzz be cauzzzzzzzz of the adorable things you do
> because
> ------------------------------
> Date: 07 Nov 2003 12:28:37 -0500
> From: Paul Mackin <paul.mackin@verizon.net>
> Subject: NPPF--commentary--678--into French
> Sybil translates Donne and Marvell
> "Death be not proud, though some have called thee"
> DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
> Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
> For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
> Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
> >From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee, 5
> Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
> And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
> Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
> Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
> And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell, 10
> And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
> And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
> One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
> And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
> As K explains while later discussing the Marvell poem Sybil correctly
> renders the English iambic pentameter of the Donne sonnet with the
> Alexandrines (hexameter) of French poetry.
> K as usual is nasty toward Sybil.What's the visual rule and why does the
> disent-prise rhyme of lines 1 and 4 violate it? We aren't told what her
> line 4 is. Or line 3 for that matter. Does the third person plural
> inflection on disent, which is seen but not heard, present some kind of
> problem? Someone knowledgeable in French poesy please explain..
> Next, the Marvell.
> My The Complete Poems of Andrew Marvell gives the title of this poem as
> "The Nymph complaining for the death of her Faun" rather than the way K
> renders it. K's version at least makes it clear that it's a pet baby
> deer rather than a mythological man-goat that the wanton troopers kill.
> The poem starts of as follows.. .
> The wanton Troopers riding by
> Have shot my Faun and it will dye.
> Ungentle men! They cannot thrive
> To kill thee. Thou neer didst alive
> Them any harm: alas not cou'd
> Thy death yet do them any good.
> K's preference for odd (l'impair) nine syllable lines to translate
> Marvell's eight syllable lines is also over my head. Can someone else
> take over here?
> ------------------------------
> Date: 07 Nov 2003 12:36:23 -0500
> From: Paul Mackin <paul.mackin@verizon.net>
> Subject: NPPF--commentary--680--Lolita
> K's remarks on the use of female names seem unexceptionable
> enough--except that Lolita isn't exactly a "little-used Spanish name."
> Apparently there wasn't an actual (fictionally actual) Hurricane Lolita
> in 1958 so K wonders why S chose this particular name. The question is
> most likely unanswerable within the reality of the novel. The external
> reason is obvious of course.
> ------------------------------
> Date: 07 Nov 2003 12:40:06 -0500
> From: Paul Mackin <paul.mackin@verizon.net>
> Subject: NPPF--commentary--681--gloomy Russians spied
> The "gloomy Russians spied" throw-away line of Shade's poem gives K the
> opportunity to take up again in the Zembla story the two (very ungloomy)
> Russians, Andornikov and Niagarin who were engaged by the Extremists to
> literally tear the palace apart in search of the Crown Jewels. (the last
> the Crown Jewels had been mentioned was when Disa asks Charles about
> them at Villa Paradisa) We are told now that the jewels are not in the
> palace at all but secure in a place Charles is aware of in another part
> of Zembla. Nevertheless A and N have been very efficient at their jobs
> and Charles is exceedingly smitten with them. They excel in sports etc.
> They are in marked contrast to K's general view of modern Russians and
> Zemblans under the current regimes. We are told that the two will deport
> themselves well at a later time in the story.
> ------------------------------
> Date: 07 Nov 2003 12:44:04 -0500
> From: Paul Mackin <paul.mackin@verizon.net>
> Subject: NPPF--commentary--682--Lang
> As was already mentioned there is painter of butterflies by this name
> extolled in Speak Memory.
> Fra Pandolf was the portrait painter in Browning's "My Last Duchess."
> He made the duchess blush.
> See poem in commentary on 671-2.
> Is K implying that S mistrusted Sybil?
> Or is he merely projecting his own unease with women?
> ------------------------------