Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Today's oddities


Here's something that caused a bit of a chuckle, when I found it in a pile of Vladimir Nabokov books - is the cover trash or not?!


The book, written in 1928, forty-two years after the photo:

Vladimir Nabokov, Montreux Switzerland, 1966;
photograph by Philippe Halsman

was taken (although the novel was revised by the author in 1968 when Nabokov's son, Dmitri Nabokov, translated it to English).

By the way, Wikipedia has this interesting detail about the book:

The author and his wife, though not directly identified, are portrayed near the end of the novel as a happy, but "puzzling" couple who are also vacationing in the Baltic resort and speaking in a foreign tongue; they have a butterfly net, which is taken for a fishing net by Franz and a shrimp net by Martha, but Dreyer identifies it correctly. Later Franz sees them again and feels they are talking about him and know "everything about his predicament". Dreyer reads a list of people in their hotel. The strange name Blavdak Vinomori strikes him; presumably this is the name of the male of this couple. It is easy to recognize an anagram of Vladimir Nabokov.

Nabokov's recently published posthumous book (or a sketch for a book), 'The Original of Laura (Dying Is Fun)', has an introduction by Dmitri Nabokov, where he tells about an accident while out butterfly hunting:

"My father had fallen on a hillside in Davos while pursuing his beloved pastime of entomology, and had gotten stuck in an awkward position on the steep slope as cabin-carloads of tourists responded with guffaws, misinterpreting as a holiday prank the cries for help and waves of a butterfly net."

Nabokov's health never really recovered, and he died two years later in 1977.

And here's something unsettling:

It was in the local paper (Manly Daily). Nothing wrong with it really - it is good that councils look after their elderly, but, but... I've recently got into this age-group myself, and is this how other people see me now? Hope not (well, I guess, they do, on paper at least: I never hear back from agents when I submit my CVs for jobs; they can see my age, you know)!


Robert Mapplethorpe
Louise Bourgeois, 1982


No comments:

Post a Comment

Books by Ridou Ridou