Archive for October, 2009

h1

Mary, p. 44: the work of memory

October 25, 2009

Ganin reflects on his memory of his first projected and real encounters with Mary:  “The fact was that he had been waiting for her with such longing, had thought about her in those blissful days after the typhus, that he fashioned her unique image long before he actually saw her.  Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Mary, p. 41: Podtyagin’s melancholy

October 25, 2009

The old poet, Podtyagin, talking to Ganin, reflects in this conversation on the value of poetry: Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Mary, p. 36: Böcklin’s The Isle of the Dead

October 18, 2009

After Klara catches Ganin searching Alyorov’s room for signs of Mary, they return to Klara’s room where hangs a copy of The Isle of the Dead, painted by the Swiss symbolist Arnold Böcklin; Böcklin painted several versions of the popular image between 1880 and 1886.  Here is one version:

180px-Arnold_Böcklin_006

Perhaps a visual analogue to Nabokov’s many islands and kingdoms (by the sea), all associated with temporality and mortality?

h1

Mary, p. 34: re-creating the past

October 18, 2009

Like many of N’s protagonists, Ganin attempts to recreate the past and Mary, his lost love, as she exists in memory:  “He was a god, re-creating a world that had perished.” Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Mary, p. 25: metempsychosis

October 18, 2009

The word is pronounced by Alfyorov in a conversation with Ganin about the “old life in Russia.”  It is a term that refers to the transmigration of souls or reincarnation, Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Mary, p. 22: cinematic identity

October 18, 2009

Ganin, reflecting on his identity:  “As he walked he thought how his shade would wander from city to city, from screen to screen, how he would never know what sort of people would see it or how long it would roam around the world. Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Mary, p. 18: the dispersed self

October 18, 2009

Ganin suffers at times from “the kind of mood that he called ‘dispersion of the will.'”  The description bears an interesting resemblance to Ganin’s shadow self as film extra: Read the rest of this entry ?