From The Natchez Trace To Bend Sinister
Well Mary, I'm glad I came back from stepping on the Nashville end of the Natchez Trace (to your left, as you face southward, toward Natchez, is the Vanderbilt sports stadium, and to your right, a Wendy's) for, while I couldn't do a thing for poor Meriwether Lewis, at least I arrived back home in time to knit up, just a bit more, your ravelled sleeve of caring about Ernest Dowson and Vladimir Nabokov.
While some know that Dowson supplied "Gone With The Wind" as the title for Margaret Mitchell's antebellum fable, all mammies and mint juleps, the one famously turned into that most famous of MGM epics which, among its unforgettable cast included that quintessential Englishman, Leslie Howard (whose parents were Hungarian Jewish immigrants to England), few may realize that "Flung Roses" is the title of one in a series of books -- both real and made-up -- to be found in Nabokov's "Bend Sinister."
Now please don't get me started on William Bolitho. I just got in the door; I haven't even had time to unpack, or even to take off my darkly sinister and, to my mind but apparently to no one else's, irresistibly seductive sunglasses, the ones I wore day and night in Nashville.
Posted on 05/31/2009 3:46 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
31 May 2009
Gordon Bennett, he gets everywhere. I bet he even got to Nashville. Country or Western, cattle or hat - who knows?
31 May 2009
He favored Route 66, with his wife, of course, driving the Buick. Nashville is not on Route 66. About ten years ago there was an exhibit about Nabokov's life mounted in one of the large halls of the Montreux Palace, and Route 66 figured prominently. A book subsequently appeared, by the same attractive German lady who was in charge of the exhibit, Daniela Rippl (I can't locate my copy right now, though I remember the title starts out with "Nabokov: Sein Leben im Bildern: etc.) But I went to that exhibit, and then read the book, and I don't recall any mention of Nabokov's collecting sites for nearctic members of the genus Lycaeides Hübner or any other butterflies or moths, for that matter, in and around Nashville. I could be wrong.