Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0027190, Mon, 3 Oct 2016 23:24:33 +0000

Re: [SIGHTING] Galya Diment Times Literary Suplement August 2016
Sandy Drescher: "Professor Diment is certainly an outstandingly insightful student of Nabokov's work, influencing many including myself. But here I suspect she may be finding something because she is looking for it.// Nabokov certainly was fascinated by the workings of his own mind and provided ample evidences of its quirks. But the evidence for seizure activity is pretty slim . Hypnagogic and hypnopompic distortions of reality are not associated with epileptiform brain wave activity, nor are some fugue-like states induced under conditions of psychic stress, sleep deprivation or some metabolic events. //I am not a neurologist and perhaps someone better equipped than myself could comment." // A better link to TLS article: http://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/sudden-sunburst/

Jansy Mello: Very pertinent observations, Sandy, about the fear of finding the names of Dostoevsky and Nabokov linked by epilepsy ( G.Diment: "...if Nabokov himself indeed suffered from epilepsy, the prospect of people constantly comparing him to the author of The Brothers Karamazov, as the other famous Russian writer who was epileptic, would have absolutely horrified him.").
You are certainly familiar with Sigmund Freud's article on Dostoevsky, Parricide and his theory about the writer's "hysterical epilepsy" and the controversies that illustrate how difficult it is to sustain a theory with no adequate ways of accessing all the pertinent facts (cf. Freud on Dostoevsky's Epilepsy: A revaluation, by Nathan Rosen, University of Rochester. http://sites.utoronto.ca/tsq/DS/09/107.shtml ).

The specific link you offered us encouraged me to explore an image found in today's TLS page that reminded me of a scene in Lynne's "Lolita" by the cartoonist Justin Green. Cf. http://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/83123/ (Banning Sexy, Wanton Comic by Lamorna Ash).
I then selected a few items about this publication ("Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary") from the wikipedia, but mostly because the author's autobiography, presented as a "confession", detailed his illness (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and described openly the progress of his psychological and medical evaluations of it ( in contrast with VN's writings) and not because it proved to be related to Nabokov's novel because of the school girl turning her hula-whoop in the lawn.

"Though autobiographical elements had appeared earlier in the work of underground cartoonists such as Crumb, Spain, and Kim Deitch, "Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary" has gained credit as the first important work of autobiographical comics in English. To Charles Hatfield Binky Brown "the ur-example of confessional literature in comics";for Paul Gravett Green was "the first neurotic visionary to unburden his uncensored psychological troubles"; Douglas Wolk declared Green and his work "ahead of the memoirist curve";[Art Spiegelman declared: "What the Brontë sisters did for Gothic romance, what Tolkien did for sword-and-sorcery, Justin Green did for confessionary, autobiographical comix [sic]"; and Publishers Weekly called the work the "Rosetta Stone of autobiographical comics". "Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary" strip has appealed mostly to comics fans and cartoonists and has gained little recognition from mainstream audiences and arts critics. Spiegelman has speculated this neglect comes from the nature of the comics medium; in contrast to explicit works such as Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint, the penises in Green's work are visual.// According to underground comix historian Patrick Rosenkranz, Green represents a break with past convention by being "the first to openly render his personal demons and emotional conflicts within the confines of a comic". Green denied credit, calling confessional autobiography "a fait accompli, a low fruit ripe for the plucking",[12] examples of which abounded in literary works he had read by James Joyce, James T. Farrell, and Philip Roth. He has accepted credit for "anticipat[ing] the groundswell in literature about obsessive compulsive disorder by almost two decades",for which he knew of no precedent. Green used the Binky Brown persona over the years in short strips and prose pieces that appeared in underground periodicals such as Arcade and Weirdo. Cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binky_Brown_Meets_the_Holy_Virgin_Mary

While pursuing a few articles about cartoonists and literature I found various entries about another artist, Daniel Clowes, actually referencing Nabokov:

"In his hilarious tribute, "Who's Afraid of Daniel Clowes?" Chris Ware writes that "[a]s does Robert_Crumb, Clowes draws like nature," while "[a]s did Vladimir_Nabokov, Clowes writes like water." Making Daniel Clowes sound like the odd love child of Crumb and Nabokov would make a great storyline for Eightball comics, but in the real world it works, too." Cf. http://bigthink.com/Picture-This/how-daniel-clowes-reinvented-comic-books -

Meta-Narrative and Hypercriticism - Artistic Autonomy in Nabokov, Clowes and Pamuk by James Romberger
" The greatest literary works of the last century take the form of metafiction. Authors such as Vladimir Nabokov and Orhan Pamuk upend the concept of the novel with self-referential and ex-referential layerings. Metafictional techniques are now being brought into other mediums such as graphic novels that re-envision not only literary sources, but those of art history and pop culture as well, exemplified in the meta-narrative comics of Daniel Clowes. // "Pale Fire" is a work of fiction that takes on the guise of a heavily annotated book of poetry. Vladimir Nabokov created an astounding character with his obsessive compulsive editor, Charles Kinbote. http://www.thearteriesgroup.com/MetaNarrativeAndHypercriticism.html

In Ice Haven, Daniel Clowes "has been pretty open about his love for both Nabokov and for Charles Schulz's Peanuts cartoons. In Ice Haven, he combines the two melancholy artists' styles to beautiful effect.// Clowes's formidable skill is anything but cold: the little book (only 88 pages) follows the interlocking lives of a few people in a small town and works out childhood fear, teenage ennui and grownup eccentricity. These themes play out across pages designed to look like comic strips from the local newspaper; it's so subtle and sweet you might not even notice the kidnapping at first." Cf. https://illustratorsjournal.wordpress.com/tag/webisodes/

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