Come si fa una tesi di laurea. Le materie umanistiche by Umberto Eco

By Umberto Eco

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For Nabokov, such a view of history is not only aesthetically pleasing but empirically sound, and he expects the reader to see the irony here as being at the expense of the pompous critic. But the moraloutrage in the negative reviews becomes a trifle repetitive after a while, for Nabokov pulls his punches a little. l 5 By refusing to print Chapter Four in the 1939 version of The Gift that was published, the editors of Sovremennye Zapiski (Contemporary Annals) inadvertently confirmed the novel's point about the intolerance of those who insist on a social component for literature, and at the same time pre-empted a debate that might have helped make clear the complexities ofthe issues involved.

The crudity of some aspects of Freudian psychology lends itself admirably to this kind ofhumour, but as a rebuttal ofFreud this says in effect: because when I write I am conscious of the possibility of others attributing subconscious motives to my characters or to me, as revealed in my choice of situation and symbol, I have anticipated this reading by including my own mockery of it; therefore, the interest of my novels lies elsewhere. Critics have tended to take hirn at his word, yet in each of the novels under consideration here, the psychological motivation, the 'sweethearts' and the 'serial selves' of the characters are of considerable interest.

When Fyodor takes up the same speculations can make nothing of this momentous question: He was in a troubled and obscured state of mind which was incomprehensible to him, just as everything was incomprehensible, from the sky to that yellow tram rumbling along the dear track of the Hohenzollerndamm ... f passed and with a kind of relief - as if the responsibility for his soul belonged not to him but to someone who knew what it all meant - he feit that all this skein ofrandom 30 Vladimir Nabokov thoughts, like everything else as weIl - the seams and sleaziness ['shafts of light' in Dar] of the spring day, the ruffle of the air, the coarse, variously intercrossing threads of confused sounds was but the reverse side of a magnificent fabric, on the front of which there gradually formed and became alive images invisible to hirn.

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