Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001122, Sun, 19 May 1996 11:00:33 -0700

Suspected Plagiarism? (fwd)
EDITOR'S NOTE. I am on vacation but haapened upon a machine at Chapell
Hill, so I am forwarding a few items. If you have replies for William
Vesterman's query, please send them directly to him.

D. Barton Johnson
Department of Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies
Phelps Hall
University of California at Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
Phone and Fax: (805) 687-1825
Home Phone: (805) 682-4618

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 06 May 1996 13:53:16 -0400 (EDT)
From: VESTERMAN@zodiac.rutgers.edu
Subject: Plagiarism

I have what I think are two cases of plagiarism and I wonder
if someone can identify the sources. The first depends on an (apparently)
Russian analysis of the original and is based on "tut" and "tam" as
here and there:

1. "The more frequent of the two terms is _tam_ "there"
which is identified with Cincinatus' ideal world. It is linked
with the most prominent projection of that other, ideal world
in to the authoritarian world of the novel--the Tamara Gardens--a
name that is phonetically built upon the word _tam-. They are the
"There Gardens" projections of the gardens of Cincinnatus' ideal
world. The identification of _tam_ with "that world" is established
early in the novel. Only after this aspect of polarity is established
is there the the introduction of the counterpointed _tut_
symbolizing "this world," the world of the prison...."

2. "Sineokov's friendly spirit can be detected not only in
its association with the librarian. Sineokov's name, which suggests
"blue eyes" in Russian supports the possibility that his spirit act
through the giant moth that is so compatible with Cincinnatus.
This moth has "visionary wings" with "perpetually open eyes." Each
wing, moreover, was said to have a "staring eye spot" (p. 203).....
Nabokov frequently has his characters indicate a ghostly presence while remaining totally unaware of it."
"_Invitation_ is a anti-utopian novel, with its ideolgical center
removed--the totalitarian state becomes an extreme metaphor for the
imprisonment of the mind, thus making consciousness the subject
of this novel."

William Vesterman