NABOKV-L post 0022451, Thu, 23 Feb 2012 17:34:46 -0500

Re: DN: "Stang" and "Beaver" reminiscences
I remember enjoying this;
the warmth, the openness,
the sense of the time spent composing the lines,
the style, the casual scholarship, the storytelling...
I wish I might of met the man.

On Jan 20, 2010, at 1:20 PM, Nabokv-L wrote:

> Subject: stangs and beavers
> From: Dmitri Nabokov
> Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 18:13:15 +0100
> To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <>
> Dear Friends,
> Amid all the admirable research and discourse dedicated to these words and related matters, I noted the mention of "Dmitri's memory" as a possible source of assistance. I can offer the following tidbits. I have a very clear, even tactile recollection of the upright metal posts for passengers to hang onto, usually located near the doors and on the open platforms of European urban public conveyances.The Russian term for them that, as a child, I learned from my father was штанга [shtanga].That, of course, does not preclude the plethora of other usages and of variants in other languages (such as stang in English, stangue in French, stanga and the aggressive verb stangare in Italian, or the German stange from which, like certain other words with a technical sense, it may have traversed to Russian. It is also true that VN also used it for a (generally wooden) soccer goalpost. I doubt that there is any link here between the suicide journeys in The Gift and Pale Fire.
> I can also offer an amusing sidelight for "beaver." My father once told me about a game played at Cambridge when he was a student there. When one among a company of friends was the first to espy a bearded gentleman he would cry out "beaver," and thereby win a point. A similar game, I am told, is played in present-day Russia using sightings of cats or automobiles of an agreed-upon color.
> DN
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