Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025620, Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:05:06 -0300

Brian Boyd in The Nabokovian,
two annotations: Demon "oeillet" and a vacuum into which rushes...

With the Spring 2014 Nabokovian close at hand, I started to read Brian
Boyd's annotations to ADA.
In his comment to 242.24 he connects the sentence to another one in which
Van observes to Demon: "You look satanically fit, Dad. Especially with that
fresh oeillet in your lapel eye (239.08-09).
Oeillet was translated as "a carnation" but I thought there was another
indication in the added "lapel eye"(the hole in a lapel). I checked it
using an internet dictionary. Oeillet means not only carnation but also
"eyelet" in the sense of a hole (trou). [Cf. œillet nm (BOTANIQUE)
carnation; (=trou) eyelet Translation French - English Collins
Dictionary http://dictionary.reverso.net/french-english/oeillet]
And there was a surprise in store, this time related to "Demon" and to
"satanically fit."
There is an Oeillet Demon (wikipedia), according to Michaelis'
classification of demons in 1613," Marvelous History, which included a
classification of demons as it was told to him by the demon Berith when he
was exorcising a nun, according to the author. This classification is based
on the Pseudo-Dionysian hierarchies, according to the sins the devil tempts
one to commit, and includes the demons' adversaries (who suffered that
temptation without falling)."

The first hierarchy includes angels that were Seraphim, Cherubim and
Beelzebub was a prince of the Seraphim, just below Lucifer. Beelzebub,
along with Lucifer and Leviathan, were the first three angels to fall. He
tempts men with pride and is opposed by St. Francis of Assisi.
Leviathan was also a prince of the Seraphim who tempts people to give into
heresy, and is opposed by St. Peter.
Asmodeus was also a prince of the Seraphim, burning with desire to tempt
men into wantonness. He is opposed by St. John the Baptist.
Berith was a prince of the Cherubim. He tempts men to commit homicide, and
to be quarrelsome, contentious, and blasphemous. He is opposed by St.
Pesado was a prince of the Abadon. The keeper of chaos.
Astaroth was a prince of Thrones, who tempts men to be lazy and is opposed
by St. Bartholomew.
Verrine was also prince of Thrones, just below Astaroth. He tempts men with
impatience and is opposed by St. Dominic.
Gressil was the third prince of Thrones, who tempts men with impurity and
is opposed by St. Bernard.
Sonneillon was the fourth prince of Thrones, who tempts men to hate and is
opposed by St. Stephen.[5]
The second hierarchy includes Powers, Dominions, and Virtues.
Carreau was a prince of Powers. He tempts men with hardness of heart and is
opposed by SS. Vincent and Vincent Ferrer
Carnivale was also a prince of Powers. He tempts men to obscenity and
shamelessness, and is opposed by John the Evangelist.
Oeillet was a prince of Dominions. He tempts men to break the vow of
poverty and is opposed by St. Martin.
Rosier was the second in the order of Dominions. He tempts men against
sexual purity and is opposed by St. Basil.
Belias was the prince of Virtues. He tempts men with arrogance and women to
be vain, raise their children as wantons, and gossip during mass. He is
opposed by St. Francis de Paul.

In note 244.23; and nothing is fuller than an empty mind, we read Cf. 294-
16-18 “This created a vacuum into which rushed a multitude of trivial
reflections. A pantomime of rational thought.” I’ve been working about
the influence of Bergson’s atemporality (or the definition of “aesthetic
thought” in lieu of “rational thought,” now following Uhlmann’s quote
from Alexander Baumgarten in [Thinking in Literature:Joyce, Woolf,
Nabokov. Anthony Uhlmann, 2011, ww.continuumbooks.com]) and selected an
illustrative quote from Speak, Memory, whose wording is very similar to the
one selected by Brian.
Thanks to the link with atemporality, the meaning of the sentence related
to “trivial reflections, pantomime of rationality” is not necessarily as
negative as it appears to be at first sight. It might be indicative of that
other kind of “thought” process related to perception and the senses, or
to Bergson’s atemporality where there’s a rejection of utilitarian
thinking and logic.
“…And the highest enjoyment of timelessness―in a landscape selected at
random―is when I stand among rare butterflies and their food plants. This
is ecstasy, and behind the ecstasy is something else, which is hard to
explain. It is like a momentary vacuum into which rushes all that I love. A
sense of oneness with sun and stone. A thrill of gratitude to whom it may
concern―to the contrapuntal genius of human fate or to tender ghosts
humoring a lucky mortal”.

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com
AdaOnline: "http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/
The Nabokov Society of Japan's Annotations to Ada: http://vnjapan.org/main/ada/index.html
The VN Bibliography Blog: http://vnbiblio.com/
Search the archive with L-Soft: https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A0=NABOKV-L

Manage subscription options :http://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=NABOKV-L