The Kyoto Reading Circle
----Annotations to
----Part One


The Kyoto Reading Circle

Annotations to Ada

About the Kyoto Reading Circle*

The Kyoto Reading Circle, chaired by Tadashi Wakashima, has been reading Ada since March 1997. After devoting six years to The Gift, we moved on to the late mazy masterpiece. Once a month, we meet at Professor Wakashima's Kyoto University office to share a blissful afternoon pondering and discussing the novel. A few of us come from Tokyo and Hiroshima, ignoring the distance--in American terms, it is like travelling from New York to Chicago-- for the pleasure of disentangling the thick and complex details of the novel. The number of the pages read at a time ranges from four to seven; the number of the members who gather from three to twelve. We discuss the places which we find are especially impressive, elusive or allusive, i.e., very Nabokovian.

We are honored to regularly report these small findings to KRUG [the newsletter of the Nabokov Society of Japan]. Needless to say, the masterful annotations by Brian Boyd, published in The Nabokovian, have guided us like magic milestones. We are often surprised to find ourselves led to some unexpected, sun-lit place. We hope that our findings could help a reader who gets lost with all Professor Boyd's attentive guidance. Our notes are traces left by our snail-pace (or caterpillar-pace?) reading rather than Icarus's viewing from the jikker. It would be our great joy if some Nabokovians would find these weaving and gleaming trails as interesting as we do.

Akiko Nakata

* "Foreword" to "Annotations to Ada (1)" published in KRUG 1.2 (April 2000)


On behalf of the Kyoto Reading Circle, I would like to express our deepest gratitude to Brian Boyd. We first made contact with Professor Boyd when he began sending us his encouragement and comments on our early annotations, and then we asked him to participate regularly in our ADA Forum held in cyberspace. In the winter of 2003 he also did us the honor of attending one of the circle's meetings in Kyoto. His comments on our annotations have stimulated and enriched our study of Nabokov's masterpiece. We sincerely appreciate his generous support.

Tadashi Wakashima


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