Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0005545, Mon, 16 Oct 2000 20:16:09 -0700

Fw: QUERY: Grillo & Obieto
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ludger Tolksdorf" <uzsazk@nikocity.de>
To: "Vladimir Nabokov Forum" <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
Sent: Monday, October 16, 2000 3:11 PM
Subject: Re: QUERY: Grillo & Obieto

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> I have just a few hasty impressions (including nothing whatsoever on
> Obieto) to offer:
> However attractive the idea might seem, the meaning of German "ober- or
> unterart" has nothing to do with art (German: "Kunst"), but with species
> (and subspecies). I would therefore suggest that "Grillo" could, because
> the German involved in the art/species-pun, to the German word "Grille"
> which means:
> 1) cricket [compare Italian: "grillo"?]
> 2) [dated:] silly notion/idea.
> Could such a silly notion be intended here ("caprice or purpose")?
> And another notion: could "the anonymous picture" refer to the object
> "unremembered now, eighty years later" much earlier in the novel (ADA I- 4
> , 2nd paragraph)?
> "He satisfied himself that those flowers were artificial and thought it
> puzzling that such imitations always pander so exclusively to the eye
> instead of also copying the damp fat feel of live petal and leaf. When he
> called next day for the object (unremembered now, eighty years later) that
> he wanted repaired or duplicated, it was not ready or had not been
> obtained. In passing, he touched a half-opened rose and was cheated of the
> sterile texture his fingertips had expected when cool life kissed them
> pouting lips. [...] On another occasion (for a certain part of the thing -
> a frame, perhaps - took an infinite time to heal or else the entire
> proved to be unobtainable after all) [...]."
> At 11:43 16.10.00 -0700, you wrote:
> > ADA's menage-a-trois scene is written in the style of several
> >painters -- most of whom are identified by the author. But WHO are Grillo
> >and Obieto? And that "ferreting artist"? And where does that shop
> >appear from? ANy ideas? Anagrams?
> >More generally, has anyone found possible prototypes for the scene in
> >
> >"That about summed it up (for the magical gewgaw liquefied all at once,
> >Lucette, snatching up her nightdress, escaped to her room). It was only
> >sort of shop where the jeweler's fingertips have a tender way of
> >the preciousness of a trinket by something akin to a rubbing of hindwings
> >the part of a settled lycaenid or to the frottage of a conjurer's thumb
> >dissolving a coin; but just in such a shop the anonymous picture
> >to Grillo or Obieto, caprice or purpose, ober- or unterart, is found by
> >ferreting artist."
> >(ADA II-8)