Tuesday, May 09, 2006

the real isobel archer

Comme l'on serait savant si l'on connaissait bien seulement cinq a six livres...

The question of identification when reading has been unresolved in my mind for some time. I first really began to think about it three years ago after reading Nabokov's lecture on 'Good Readers and Good Writers.' Nabokov upholds that a reader's identification with a text is a grand injustice. It is an injustice against oneself (the reader), the author, and the art (the "world" prepared). He argues, we must "approach it [the text] as something brand new, having no obvious connection with worlds we already know."

Initially, I perceived Nabokov's comments as dripping with an elitist self(author)-importance(impotence). His request for 'kindness to authors' was another one of his devices that makes you suppliant to his gaze. As a reader, as a woman, it seems necessary to enter into an author's world with instincts of self-preservation. Particularly, with anything written after 1900, the vulgar (anti)horizon characterized by endless self-referentiality can be deeply disturbing. It wreaks of melancholia & muse phenomena, mirrors & glittery things.

Nabokov wants us naked--without identification, without sy(em)mpathy, ultimately, without the tricks of the ego that turns narrative into an opiate.

Ultimately, how much are we allowed to identify with someone.

At times, it is less about identification and more concerned with

But when such blind theatrics dissolve to warmth:
you reading the Greek way of life
by candlelight, and the rain
refreshed by our stillness.

Perhaps, it is best to direct our eyes upwards, as infants to a mobile, and enter the author's world as a resting place for a mind, which has no need for projection, identification.
what is the relationship between projection and identification (?)


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