NABOKV-L post 0024217, Sat, 11 May 2013 07:22:15 -0700

Re: Cocteau and VN
Well, that's interesting. I didn't seriously think Nabokov would be interested
in Cocteau. I personally am very fond of him, and he was such a close personal
friend of two women I adore, Colette and Piaf.

Now Colette, I should have thought would have interested Nabokov, if it weren't
for the whiff of misogyny.

As an artist Colette is very like Pushkin. They have the same amount of negro
blood for starters. There is something very Pushkinesque in Colette's work - no
time to go into it now, but a good example is the ending of Gigi. There is a
happy ending, but as in "The Station Master's Daughter", it is not explicit.
Both were highly sexed and willing to write about it. C's prose is very like
poetry, highly if subtly rhythmic etc.

Cocteau on the other hand was flamboyantly gay, but perhaps Nabokov didn't know
that. His beautiful fairy tale film La Belle et la Bete may have appealed to

Carolyn (preparing to fly off)

From: Nabokv-L <nabokv-l@UTK.EDU>
Sent: Sat, May 11, 2013 6:04:09 AM
Subject: [NABOKV-L] Cocteau and VN

Excellent discovery between Jansy and Carolyn! Not much has been written
about Nabokov and Cocteau;

I found this on Google books:

Self-reflexivity in Literature edited by Werner Huber, Martin Middeke,et al.

I think you're onto something... Though I doubt the 1960 film referenced in
the above book is the link Nabokov might have been making.

Jansy and I have bee discussing off-list the strange inconsistency in
Kinbote's age reporting: that he is 16 years Shade's junior (= b. 1914), but
that King Charles the Beloved was born 1915. Perhaps this slippage is
psychologically related to Kinbote's regarding Shade's "60th-no, 61st"
birthday, noted already by Jansy. Very possibly others have discussed this
in their articles and books, and Nab-Lers are invited to send us all to
those sources! I see that the Library of America notes (ahem) tell us that
"In his lecture on The Walk by Swann's Way" [...] published in Lectures on
Literature, Nabokov wrote "Jean Cocteau has called the work 'a giant
miniature, full of mirages, of superimposed gardens, of games conducted
between space and time.'" Note 554.24-25; p. 896 in the volume. No mention
of Cocteau's birthday or the coincidence there.

Steve Blackwell

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] Responses from Carolyn Kunin on birthday and

Date: Fri, 10 May 2013 23:44:48 -0300
From: Jansy <jansy@AETERN.US>
Reply-To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>

Carolyn Kunin [to Jansy's links related to "Nabokov and Taxonomy"]
Your post prompted me to look up this date, July 5, 1915, to see if
anything exciting happened. Not really - but two days later the
Lusitania The ship's name was taken from Lusitania, an
ancient Roman province on the west of Iberian Peninsula the region
that now is Portugal.was sunk, so that's something. Jean Cocteau was
born July 5, 1899. I doubt Nabokov knew or cared...

Jansy Mello: Oh! Actually Kinbote mentioned Cocteau exactly on July
5! He must have been aware, then, that it was his birthday

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