Tuesday, October 16, 2007

just a thought




This is Vladimir Nabokov's actual typewriter.

He also collected butterflies, and these are his own authentic specimens, displayed in his own house, which is still inhabited by Nabokovs upstairs. I found myself there, having taken a wrong turn.

What meaning have these literary artefacts ?
I could only venerate them as objects in their own right, they seem not to add to my reading of any of his novels.

Curious.

21 comments:

jane said...

It all looks very cold but very very pretty. It was 32 here today. Hot and dry windy October. Messages work well through my blog. Very lateral of you to send them there. A party on the headland sounds fun.

itisthelittlethings said...

I've greatly enjoyed these images. The people that I've known that have experienced Russia have brought back such strange and varied stories.
Glad you're out and about and seeing new things!

Laughing Boy said...

hard to imagine that lolita stemmed from that. i wonder how much of a different book it might have been had it been written on a word processor.....i often think of typewriter vs computer and as such i find the older stuff very intriguing, where the first thoughts hit the paper and are not endlessly polished and edited, - lawrence durrell, etc.

...i'm off the track a bit, - you are holidaying well i presume???

meli said...

I thought the same when I saw a bunch of women swooning over Patrick White's beanie in the National Library earlier this year.

Relics, these are, relics. Better than chopping of bits of their dead bodies and scattering them around Europe like they did in the Middle Ages (to saints, not writers, but still). Maybe these writers are our modern day saints?

Molly said...

Lovely to have on the spot reporting. It looks gorgeous--great photos.

Arcturus said...

Perhaps the butterflies at the old typewriter are a metaphorical representation for how his imagination would fly -- fluttering colorfully in a sunny blue sky this way and that, never sure where it would land -- so to speak, when he actually sat down and began composing stories, putting pen to paper, so to speak.

meggie said...

Still... a lovely picture, worth sharing.

fifi said...

hello all!

laughingboy,
Nabokov wrote Lolita in America, a novel which I was both entranced and repelled, entranced primarliy by his language and the way he engages your sympathy for Humbert. My favourite is "Speak, Memory", which he wrote also in America, but wrote about his country house in Batovo, and mentions this house here in St petersburg.
I am sure he used a typewriter though! And His phrases are so crafted, he was synaesthetic. I was as a child, That is why I relate to his descriptions.

Meli: Patrick White's BEANIE? Good God.

Yes, they are relics, reliquaries, but yet they aren't.
They don't really " stand in" for the presence of the person, the works themselves do that so I guess these could be "secondary" relics.

Perhaps we are all to used to the cinematic revisiting of past figures, and fail to invest these items with imaginary powers?

who knows, stop me, I'm raving.

Arc_ i made the picture, I photographed both things and put them together on photoshop. I cant say that I am fitting into this time zone very well... can't get to sleep before 1pm.
Nabokov collected Butterflies. There are a few species named for him. These are some of his own specimens.

take care
fifi

riseoutofme said...

Beautiful photos. Now, I want to go there. When there isn't any snow.

Enjoy.

Leann said...

my step mom came from the UKraine.she has a picture of the church below this post.its so cool.a almost blind prist painted it from memory.it is so lovely.
I enjoyed seeing the pictures.

its funny you see angles there on things.for over 70 years the russin people were forbidden to worship as they would have liked.

the christains had to hide in places to have church.
the christains were hunted and killed or inprisoned.
but like any place who trys to keep Jesus out it failed.and the faith still grew.
in fact when My step mom and faimly came to the USA when she was young.and was saved shorty after I got saved.
the Lord sent her here all the way across the ocean to met me and my family and to be saved.isnt God good?

Isabelle said...

I've never read any Nabokov but all the same the typewriter makes me feel I should. It's like going to Haworth and seeing Charlotte Bronte's desk.

Arcturus said...

Where are you?

Isabelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Isabelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Isabelle said...

Those deleted comments were just me, by the way, removing my contact details from public view. Just in case anyone was after my money or... whatever. (Money? What money? And how could they get money from my email address...?)

fifi said...

Hello all, sorry for the absence, havent had internet or time to write. Which I guess, is a nice thing really. I will be back next week.
scotland is a hoot. och aye.

fifi said...

Hello all, sorry for the absence, havent had internet or time to write. Which I guess, is a nice thing really. I will be back next week.
scotland is a hoot. och aye.

meli said...

glad to hear you're having fun. we miss you!

ganching said...

Hope you'll be back soon - look forward to hearing your impressions of Scotland (and tales about London).

it's the little things... said...

I can't wait to read your return stories!

Isabelle said...

Hello - I hope you're now safely back Down Under. It was so lovely to meet you and to introduce you to the catlets (and the husband and daughter). I hope you get over your jetlag soon.

Thanks so much for making the effort to come over to Edinburgh. Sorry about Scotrail!