TMR 13.1 “All Happy Families” [ADA, OR ARDOR]
Chad and Brian try their best to unpack the first three chapters of Vladimir Nabokov’s Ada, or Ardor, in an attempt to find some solid footing for this sci-fi (?), ambitious, reference-laded masterwork of one of the greatest writers of our times. Lots of questions about where we are (Terra or Anti-Terra?); mirrors; the relationship between text, footnotes, and parenthetical comments; the L disaster and “thank Log”; Nabokovian verbs; Anna Karenina and Wuthering Heights; and much more. It’s a fun way to kick off this season, encapsulating the joy and confusion of reading a Nabokov book for the first time.
There are a surprising amount of songs with “Nabokov” in the title. Not sure if any of them are actually good, but here’s “Nabokov’s Butterfly” by Hailey Wojcik.
If you’d prefer to watch the conversation, you can find it on YouTube along with all our past episodes. You can watch episode 2 live next Wednesday where you’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions, make comments, or correct inaccurate statments.
Be sure to order Brian’s book, Joytime Killbox, which is now officially available at better bookstores everywhere thanks to BOA Editions.
You can also support this podcast and all of Open Letter’s activities by making a tax-deductible donation through the University of Rochester.