Thursday, July 14, 2005

David Cronenberg and Nabokov

David Cronenberg in an interview, rather interestingly titled as The Baron of Blood Does Bergman, says that his favourite writer is Nabokov. When asked if the idea of the fragility of memories and self-knowledge that he explored in his film Spider has anything to do with Nabokov, he replies:

In his case very specifically, yeah. A past that he was severed from before he wanted to be. He's one of my favorite writers. He was an important figure for me. One of the reasons I'm not a novelist, probably, is because I kept writing pastiches of Nabokov. Whereas when I came to filmmaking I felt quite free.

I personally found Cronenberg's Spider to be extremely pessimistic about the nature of memory and the possibility of self-knowledge and coming-to-terms with one's past, and so poles apart from Nabokov's Speak, Memory which is a homage full of love on the altar of Mnemosyne (the goddess of memory). Can we recreate through artistic imagination what has been irretrivably lost? Nabokov and Proust surely think we can. Cronenberg is not so optimistic. He thinks that even if we are able to recreate our pasts it will be nothing but the sum of our delusions. Self is an illusion, only fear, anxiety and sexual pathologies are real (a very David Lynchian concept!).


anurag said...

On similar lines, Naked Lunch owes lot to Kafka and Bugs.

Alok said...

gotta see that one!