NABOKV-L post 0021806, Mon, 11 Jul 2011 13:14:49 -0300

Re: Red dogs
Alexey Sklyarenko: "The last thing Van thinks of before he falls asleep and has his dream of floramors is a red dog"
Victor Fet: "To add to Alexey's flavitous flow (may be also useful for Ada 2:2 comments?)...(1)..(2)..(3) ...a wild Asian species, Cuon alpinus, or Dhole - called in English "red dog", but in Russian "krasnyi volk" (red wolf)...(4)...the Kyrgyz people of Central Asia consider a Red Dog (Kyzyl Taigan) their progenitor who, according to folk legend/etymology, impregnated 40 maidens (= "kyrk gyz")....which brings us back to floramors?"

Jerry Friedman:"... And dogs."

JM: Fascinating travels, almost verging on over-interpretation (Fet's "flavitous flow" carefuly demarcated a fresh field of associations).
As I see it, one cannot know if Nabokov thought about red dogs only after realizing the interlingual pun of "a hund-red," if he deliberately set it there and then in order to emphasize "desertorum or agricultural drearies," to ramify it into what Fet and Friedman have added. Or if this association didn't come to his (Van's) mind at all.

Friedman "occasionally wondered whether the 'stuffed fox or coyote' Kinbote thinks he remembers from Shade's house is supposed to be this species." There is a stuffed squirrel in "Lolita." (I'm almost certain it appears in Kubrick's movie, in a bookcase). When I stop to wonder about "suffed mammals," excepting museums, it's Hitchcock's "Psycho" that comes into my mind.

Martin Amis, in a review with the title "I Am in Blood Stepped'd in So Far" (New Yorker, May 1994 on "Hollywood vs. America" by Michael Medved) noted that "In the cinema, if not elsewhere, violence started getting violent in 1966...And I was delighted to see it, all this violence. I found it voluptuous, intense, and (even then) disquietingly humorous; it felt subversive and counter-cultural...The future looked bright.". He quotes Nabokov: "Writing in the Fifties, Nabokov noted the ineffectuality of the 'ox-stunning fisticuffs' of an average cinematic rumble, and remarked on the speed with which the hero invariably recovered from 'a plethora of pain that would have hospitalized a Hercules'. Few of us are in a position to say which style is the more life-like: the cartoonish invulnerability of the old violence or the cartoonish besplatterings of the new..."

Does anyone know where can I find Nabokov's complete text on this subject?


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