Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0021065, Tue, 14 Dec 2010 18:08:59 -0500

Re: [NABOKOV-L] Book covers and Lilith
*Jansy, what a delicious and thought-provoking challenge. It might take me
some time but the seeds are planted. Thank you!*
*JM: "although jazzistic "improvisation, humor, high wit" may also be found
in various other artistic realms "*
*Barrie: not so sure about that, Jansy.*
*More soon I hope!*
On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 10:43 AM, Jansy <jansy@aetern.us> wrote:

> *Barrie Karp* [*to SB: "On Nabokov and Music, the top authority is Boris
> Katz. Unfortunately...the things that have come out are in Russian. They
> need to be translated--or everyone needs to learn Russian (I vote for number
> 2!...*" ] Does this authority on VN & music know and take jazz into
> account? improvisation, humor, high wit (and not just modernist jazz).
> *JM*: Barrie, you raised an important point, although
> jazzistic "improvisation, humor, high wit" may also be found in various
> other artistic realms and are not a specific trait that serves to connect
> Nabokov and music. You stimulated me to contrast Nabokov's careful textual
> "chess moves" and emphasis on structure (that doesn't exclude the
> whisperings muses) - with "improvisation."
> For one thing, his interviews (as we get them in SO or on tape) are never
> "spontaneous," but spontaneity is not the same as "improvisation," which
> comes closer to intuition and inspiration (if you can agree with that!). I'd
> like to challenge you to find us an example of an exhilarating moment of
> improvisation in Nabokov (I'm sure there are many)... We might also explore
> synesthesia. I just read Isaac Asimov's "Cal" (the robot who wanted to
> become a writer, but was hemmed by the three laws of robotics which hindered
> him from being cruel to the readers - and a lot more), and I'd like to quote
> one sentence from it, after a technician installed in him a special
> "spelling dictionary and a grammar." Cal wrote: "*I had never been able to
> read easily before, but now as soon as I looked at the words, I could her
> them in my ear...I couldn't imagine how I had been unable to do it before*."
> How puzzling! That's not how I "hear" Nabokov, inspite of being
> eerily affected by his use of signifiers...

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