Sunday, June 6, 2004

Sunday June 6, 2004

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 1:28 PM

“I confess I do not believe in time.
I like to fold my magic carpet,
after use, in such a way
as to superimpose
one part of the pattern
upon another.”

(Nabokov, Speak, Memory)

From a review of On the Composition of Images, Signs & Ideas, by Giordano Bruno:

Proteus in the House of Mnemosyne (which is the fifth chapter of the Third Book) relies entirely on familiarity with Vergil’s Aeneid (even when the text shifts from verse to prose). The statement, “Proteus is, absolutely, that one and the same subject matter which is transformable into all images and resemblances, by means of which we can immediately and continually constitute order, resume and explain everything,” reads less clear than the immediate analogy, “Just as from one and the same wax we awaken all shapes and images of sensate things, which become thereafter the signs of all things that are intelligible.”

From an interview with Vladimir Nabokov published in Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature, vol. VIII, no. 2, Spring 1967:

When I was your student, you never mentioned the  Homeric parallels in discussing Joyce’s Ulysses  But you did supply “special information” in introducing many of the masterpieces: a map of Dublin for Ulysses….  Would you be able to suggest some equivalent for your own readers?

Joyce himself very soon realized with dismay that the harping on those essentially easy and vulgar “Homeric parallelisms” would only distract one’s attention from the real beauty of his book. He soon dropped these pretentious chapter titles which already were “explaining” the book to non-readers.  In my lectures I tried to give factual data only. A map of three country estates with a winding river and a figure of the butterfly Parnassius mnemosyne for a cartographic cherub will be the endpaper in my revised edition of Speak, Memory.

For more on Joyce and Proteus,
see the May 27 entry

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