Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0027072, Thu, 23 Jun 2016 17:34:30 -0300

Moving Lips... Misquoting Nabokov?
I have found a new way to watch TV, and it changes everything.
Game of Thrones. The Bachelor. House of Cards. It's now possible to watch
everything. How? It's the future of storytelling. By Jeff Guo.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/people/jeff-guo June 22

[excerpt] "Silent, secret, private reading paved the way for previously
unthinkable audacities,"... "In the late Middle Ages, even before the
invention of the printing press, heretical texts circulated in manuscript
form, critical ideas were expressed, and erotic books, suitably illuminated,
enjoyed considerable success." [ ]
WE all chart our own paths through a text. I rarely read a book straight
through from start to finish. I take detours, I backtrack, and I always scan
the plot summary on Wikipedia to learn what's coming next. Psychologists at
the University of California, San Diego have found that people enjoy a story
more if the ending has already been spoiled. Suspense, it seems, is
The Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov believed that re-reading was
the only way to truly enjoy a novel. Not until the second or third go-around
can we perceive a novel's grand schemes and secrets. Of the initial
encounter he once said: "When we read a book for the first time, the very
process of laboriously moving our eyes from left to right, line after line,
page after page, this complicated physical work upon the book, the very
process of learning in terms of space and time what the book is about, this
stands between us and artistic appreciation."
[ ] There's no one right way to enjoy a book. Literary theorist Roland
Barthes encouraged us not to treat novels so literally or linearly, but to
traipse around in search of our own meanings. Why, then, do we still watch
television straightforwardly? Why do we relinquish ourselves to the pace set
by a film's director? Can't we find more interesting ways to be a couch

Would VN be in favor of Jeff Guo's argumentation???*


/ ..."The element of time does not really enter in a first contact with a
painting. In reading a book, we must have time to acquaint ourselves with
it. We have no physical organ (as we have the eye in regard to a painting)
that takes in the whole picture and then can enjoy its details. But at a
second, or third, or fourth reading we do, in a sense, behave towards a book
as we do towards a painting. However, let us not confuse the physical eye,
that monstrous masterpiece of evolution, with the mind, an even more
monstrous achievement." ( cf. these accompanying sentences to the quote made
in Guo's text)

or, jumping to "Pale Fire" ( for some sort of speed up reading and
diversion): "Gradus settles on a bench in Central Park and reads the New
York Times. As always in Nabokov's fiction, a careful reader is given the
exact day of the Times that Gradus is reading. Here is the passage. It's
long, but it's also perhaps the most important in Pale Fire: // 'He began
with the day's copy of The New York Times. His lips moving like wrestling
worms, he read about all kinds of things. . . . The United States was about
to launch its first atom-driven merchant ship (just to annoy the Ruskers, of
course, J.G.) Last night in Newark, an apartment house at 555 South Street
was hit by a thunderbolt that smashed a TV set and injured two people
watching an actress lost in a violent studio storm (those tormented spirits
are terrible! C.X.K. teste J.S.). The Rachel Jewelry Company in Brooklyn
advertised in agate type for a jewelry polisher who "must have experience in
costume jewelry" (oh, Degre had!). The Helman brothers said they had
assisted in the negotiations for the placement of a sizable note:
$11,000,000, Decker Glass Manufacturing Company, Inc., note due July 1,
1979, and Gradus, grown young again, reread this twice, with the background
gray thought, perhaps, that he would be sixty-four four days after that (no
comment). . '.
( to learn about the reason why this is the most important sentence in PF,
according to the commentator, has been cut off here, please refer to William
C.Dowling's original text at https://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~wcd/palenarr.htm )
and to VN's 1962 BBC Interview about what language does he think in: "I
don't think in any language. I think in images. I don't believe that people
think in languages. They don't move their lips when they think. It is only a
certain type of illiterate person who moves his lips as he reads or
ruminates. No, I think in images, and now and then a Russian phrase or an
English phrase will form with the foam of the brainwave, but that's about
all. "

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