Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0022124, Wed, 26 Oct 2011 18:43:44 -0200

[QUERY] Nabokov's Monism
Post-Scriptum to: "I got the impression that in his essay on translating EO, Nabokov states that poems can only remain alive in their original language ... In that sense would translations only become the projected shadows of a "real thing" in Nabokov's eyes?"

The archetypal quality of a poem's original may have been voiced in "Pale Fire," by Prof. Hurley - of all people - in reference to a "structural matter", as we find it in Kinbote's foreword:
"I quote [Prof. Hurley]: 'None can say how long John Shade planned his poem to be, but it is not improbable that what he left represents only a small fraction of the composition he saw in a glass, darkly.' Nonsense again!...I shall even assert (as our shadows still walk without us) that there remained to be written only one line of the poem (namely verse 1000) which would have been identical to line 1 and would have completed the symmetry of the structure, with its two identical central parts, solid and ample, forming together with the shorter flanks twin wings of five hundred verses each, and damn that music. Knowing Shade's combinational turn of mind and subtle sense of harmonic balance, I cannot imagine that he intended to deform the faces of his crystal by meddling with its predictable growth."

The same creative process found in Prof.Hurley's alusion to seeing "God face to face," has been described by Nabokov in relation to the composition of his novelsm,as he often states in "Strong Opinions" and, more recently, quoted in connection to TOoL. Quite recently, in relation to B.Boyd's investigation of 'organs and organitrons,' the issue of symmetry, automatism and creative freedom, as expressed by CK, was also broached.

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