Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0020802, Thu, 30 Sep 2010 19:03:30 +0100

Re: Nabokov's eyes
Stephen: Strange, I can¹t recall ever seeing a coloured photo of VN. We can
always ask Dmitri. The desktop image on my new 15² MacBook PRO is set to
show that delightful black¹n¹white photograph of VN peering out of an
American car. He¹s on the (right) passenger side, of course, confirming the
trivium [?] known to us all, that Nabokov couldn¹t, or wouldn¹t, drive. The
contrast with Dmitri, in this respect, is enormous. Eye-colour, though, does
have genetic influences, so knowing the father¹s and son¹s shades would be

The relevance to Hazel, the character, is rather shady! After all, the
spectrum of human-eye colours is rather limited, at least in the number of
colour-names allowed on passports. I once tried to enter in my passport
form, ³Icy Blue with a faint, petulant Greenish shimmer.² This was rudely
corrected to ³Blue.²

Was it Madame Bovary whose eye-colour changed in different episodes?
Some said Flaubert slipped up (recall VN¹s ³Homais nodded² quip about a
different minor mistake in the novel), others that eye-colours really do
change, and with dramatic effect, as observed by the meticulous Flaubert.

Re-the name Hazel, I can add a well-known Scouse joke among Liverpool

Yer wha¹? HAZEL? Dat¹s no name fer a gerl! Dere¹s 300 bleedin¹ Saints in de
bleedin¹ Calendar, and yer go an call Œer after a bleedin¹ NUT!²
(Translations sent on request.)

Stan Kelly-Bootle

On 30/09/2010 13:03, "Stephen Blackwell" <sblackwe@UTK.EDU> wrote:

> Re: seeing from Hazel's (shaded) eyes:
> No time for research right now, but my memory and at least one source gives
> Nabokov's eyes a hazel shade.
>> ...The Atlantic's ninth editor-in-chief, Edward Weeks. The two men were
>> introduced in 1941 by the critic Edmund Wilson and began to meet regularly
>> for lunch at th eRutz Hotel in Boston. Weeks was enchanted by Nabokov. As the
>> editor recalled years later in an interview,"He would come in a shabby tweed
>> coat, trousers bulging at the knee, but be quite the most distinguished man
>> in the room, with his perfectly beautiful hazel eys, his fine brown hair, the
>> elan, the spark . . . ."
> The American Idea: The Best of the Atlantic Monthly
> By Robert Vare, Daniel B. Smith, p. 70
> Any significance to the present discussion?
> Stephen Blackwell

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