Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0002517, Tue, 28 Oct 1997 08:21:55 -0800

nature in ada (fwd)
EDITOR's NOTE. The posting that this respods to was directed more toward
"cosmic synchronization" than nature in general. The latter topic is
addressed in detail in Bobbie Ann Mason's early book, called something
like _Nabokov's Garden: A Study of NAture Imagery in ADA_ Roy Falannigan
has recently completed a interesting dissertation on landscape in LOLITA.
From: Zachariah Pickard <zpickard@is2.dal.ca>

I do not have my copy of Ada in front of me, so I will not be able
to join the fun and search for particular natural allusions. But in a more
general sense I took nature themes to be rather important to the book in
an overall sense.
Though on first read it did not occur to me as particularly
unusual that the young lovers should spend their time chasing butterflies
and romping about in the wilderness, after a while the persistence of it
seemed important. Though of course the action of the first part of the
book takes place in a rural setting and would, of course, involve nature,
if you look at the development of V and A's relationship as well as their
characters it makes a certain amount of sense. We have the early stage,
the young, innocent (relatively), discovery stage; followed by more rural,
blatantly debauched, cynical stages. In a sense we get a garden of eden
kind of thing where V and A are not merely getting it on in the woods, but
reflecting in their love the `natural state'. Of course later we get the
fall with all its attendant sins, and a long period of relative
alienation. Interesting to note is the segment where they are reunited as
elder folk (somewhere in Switzerland is it?), here they do all kind of
natury stuff, but when V tries to put a play on A in the great outdoors it
seems too late to go back (or am I just remembering this wrong? like I
said I don't have my book with me.)
Of course this isn't exactly `dissolving into nature', it's more
about a relationship than a person, but in a sense what is V but A's
lover? So what defines him but their love? So is he in a sense dissolved
during the rural scenes? He is certainly dissolved into his love for A.
But I leave it open as to how far we can stretch that......