Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0021981, Wed, 7 Sep 2011 22:48:11 -0300

Re: Ramsdale and a road sign to cities in fic..
Re: [NABOKV-L] Ramsdale and a road sign to cities in fic..
Stan LIOB:..."Jansy's analysis of Ramsdale relies on over-literal readings (ram -> animal -> rape), confirming my conviction that VN's wordplay is a trivial and often misleading diversion, diluting his true, inimitable genius...Can you see how word-misplay, merely matching surface letters, such as r-a-m, can lead one astray?"

JM: Don't blame Nabokov for the conjecture I ventured in relation to his choice for "Ramsdale". In many other instances I can agree with your accessment, despite S.Karlinski's observations about Russian punning, countering E. Wilson's criticism. However jokes and puns seldom if ever rely on established etymologies. I was happier when musing about Isaiah's "the crooked made straight and the rough places plain," by Kinbote to Shade's "web of sense." and the changes popular sayings suffer when they travel from one culture to another

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