Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0021903, Fri, 5 Aug 2011 03:50:46 +0100

Re: ruka
AS/JM: It’s a deep linguistic point: deeper than just saying ruka means both
‘arm’ and ‘hand.’
It’s the puzzling way in which different languages can apply different
taxonomies when ‘naming parts.’
Colours and body-parts, in particular, often have lexemes that map into
distinct conceptual areas.

For Russian colour-names, see
For Kewa (Papuan) speakers’ body-parts see http://www.jstor.org/pss/3628922

Linguistically, one must accept that ruka actually means the arm+hand
In the other direction: ‘blue’ actually means ‘[Dark Blue] синий + [Light
Blue] голубой’ !

Stan Kelly-Bootle

On 02/08/2011 16:19, "Jansy" <jansy@AETERN.US> wrote:

> A. Sklyarenko: "...ruka (rhymes with reka, "river") means both "arm" and
> "hand"... During d'Onsky's sword duel with Demon (who I think is also a horse)
> the shirtsleeves of both seconds, charming Monsieur de Pastrouil and Colonel
> St. Alin, a scoundrel, are blood-bespattered (1.2). Note that Stalin (whose
> arms were по локоть в крови, "blood-stained up to the elbows") had a withered
> arm. A.S. also notes that "On the other hand, Ruka was the nickname of VN's
> maternal uncle Vasiliy Ivanovich Rukavishnikov: "French and Italian friends,
> being unable to pronounce his long Russian surname, had boiled it down to
> 'Ruka' (with the accent on the last syllable), and this suited him far better
> than did his Christian name." (Speak, Memory, Chapter Three, 3)."
> JM: It's almost a conjuror's trick when one-armed men think about contraries
> saying "on the other hand" and blindmen "see their point"
> Perhaps it would be interesting to distinguish those that are
> one-armed(handed) by illness, from those who've lost their arms(hands) by
> accident.
> I think that the one-armed d'Onskys are of interest for VN when they, somehow,
> suggest Stalin, not soldiers or factory-workers.
> The connection of "ruka" and the other "Ruka" must be considered but, again,
> ranged in another category as the others (closer to rivers and noisy brooks?)
> .

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