Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000320, Tue, 16 Aug 1994 15:13:08 -0700

Synaesthesia (fwd)
The BBC TV science program "Horizon, the equivalent of our PBS "Nova"
will be broadcasting a 50 minute program on synaesthesia in early December
1994. (The Horizon programs are often subsequently run on American TV, so
we may eventually get it.) The program will, inter alia, examine the role
of synaesthesia in the work of three artists: the French composer Olivier
Messaien, the painter Vasily Kandinsky, and, of course, VN. (They could
have had an all-Russian trio by substituting Scriabin for Messaien.)
Jan Klimkowski, the researcher for the program, passes along a very
nice synaesthesia quote from one of VN's favorite writer, E.A. Poe:-

The quote is from his Marginalia - heading Sight and Sound:
"The orange ray of the spectrum and the buzz of the gnat (which never rises
above the second A), affect me with nearly similar sensations. In hearing
the gnat, I perceive the color. In perceiving the color, I seem to hear the