Volume 10, Number 1 (January 2013)
Author: Paul O’Mahoney
Update concerning two passages in Baudrillard’s The Lucidity Pact
There are two extended passages in The Lucidity Pact whose originals are in English-language novels, one from Saul Bellow and the other from Vladimir Nabokov, which were not sourced.
As the precise wording or ideas of the originals may give a better sense of why they attracted Baudrillard, we provide here the originals and sources.
1. Quoted at page 109, attributed to Bellow:
And there was the insignificant Picasso sculpture with its struts and its sheet metal, no wings, no victory, only a token, a reminder, only the idea of a work of art. Very similar, I thought, to the other ideas or reminders, by which we lived – no more apples but the idea, the pomologist’s reconstruction of what an apple once was, no more ice cream but the idea, the recollection of something delicious, made of substitutes, of starch, glucose, and other chemicals, no more sex but the idea or reminiscence of that, and so with love, belief, thought, and so on. From Humboldt’s Gift (Penguin Classics, 2008 ) p. 220
2. Quoted at page 211, attributed to Nabokov; the original runs:
And the word, the meaning which appears is astounding in its simplicity: the greatest surprise being perhaps that in the course of one’s earthly existence, with one’s brain encompassed by an iron ring, by the close-fitting dream of one’s own personality – one had not made by chance that simple mental jerk, which would have set free imprisoned thought and granted it the great understanding. [From The Real Life of Sebastian Knight (Penguin Classics, 2001 ) p. 157].
About the Author
Paul O’Mahoney is from Dublin, Ireland.