----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, October 12, 2002 6:40 PM
Subject: Re: Nabokov and Music
Wasn't short story 'Music' written by Nabokov to demonstrate
irrelevance of direct emotional "intimations" elicited by music to old
passion that refuses to be contained? Then there is "test on
absolutely free associations" in 'Pnin' where a child is expected to react to
stimulating words: one of these words is 'music'. I think direct 'stimulating'
appeal of music to emotions, so frequently cited, contradicted to Nabokov's
approach: the precision of his art was not emotional and certainly not
stimulating. In a way Nabokov's lack of interest in that 'music' could have
similar roots with his dislike of writers with direct impact and not precise
form, like Dostoevski.
Notwithstanding the above I do think that Nabokov was a good
listener of music. After all it was an opera that he discussed with his Father
the night before V.D Nabokov was shot.
- George Shimanovich
On Fri, 11 Oct 2002 13:56:27 -0700 "D. Barton
>Was Nabokov actually daunted, or even frightened by the same
The human brain is 'auditorily centered'...I
don't think Nabokov found music boring, bland, or
banal. I believe he was just so busy with
grasping the visual he simply did his best to ignore
sound directly. Indirectly, he is, to me,
one of the most musical writers I have read to date.
Your question is good. I don't have an
answer but would certainly be interested in the opinions