NABOKV-L post 0020860, Mon, 11 Oct 2010 11:44:11 -0400

Re: [NABOKOV-L] A recurrent typo or a pun?
One possibility is the "Litt." alludes to D. Litt., the usual, but not universal, abbreviation for Doctor Litterarum (Doctor of Letters, Doctor of Literature). The D. Litt. abbreviation is more common when it is an honorary degree. D. Litt, because it is Latin-based, is the more old-fashioned abbreviation and is the one VN was more likely to be accustomed to.

Eric Hyman
Professor of English
Assistant Chair
Graduate Coordinator
Department of English
Fayetteville State University
1200 Murchison Road
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From: Vladimir Nabokov Forum [mailto:NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU] On Behalf Of Stan LIOB
Sent: Sunday, October 10, 2010 9:26 AM
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] [NABOKOV-L] A recurrent typo or a pun?

Jansy: my Everyman's Pale Fire (1992, ll 376-7, page 46) has "English Lit", the common abbreviation for "Literature," although picky Chicago-Stylish copy editors would insist on adding a period/fullstop: "Lit."! Just as we see "English" shortened to "Eng.". The convention is a useful disambiguator, since "Lit by candle" is not the same as "Lit. by candle." Indeed, you can read

In English Lit to be a document (line 367)

with this in mind (it's a free country, Reading)

BUT we can't rush to judge the "Litt" you report as, perforce, a typo. IF VN wrote "Litt" then my Everyman's "Lit" has the typo. And, such are the quirks of the Lit. Crit. [sic] Game, that I can offer a perfectly plausible suggestion that VN's "Litt" (if such he wrote) is a punning abbreviation for "Litter" (as in "Trash," "Rubbish.")

The answer, of course, lies in VN's original m/s and the subsequent, final draft approved by him. We know VN was a super-careful prof-redder!
There are, methinks, healthy morals from this affair. Writers can misspell on purpose or accidentally. Editors can wrongly correct deliberate typos, and overlook inadvertent slips. Eng. and other Lit.s will forever attract disputatious, Kinbotean footnotes/glosses, a point often overlooked by Pale Fire exegetes (excluding Jansy, bien entendu).

Stan Kelly-Bootle, MA, MAA, AMS, ASCAP, AAAS, ... (continued page 86)

On 09/10/2010 05:37, "Jansy" <jansy@AETERN.US> wrote:
Lines 376-377: was said in English Litt to be

Cf. "Pale Fire": Library of America Nabokov, p.578; Everyman's p.194.

JM: Is there a typo in the double "tt" for "English Litt"? Or does it indicate a pun and, if so, what does it mean?
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