Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0020865, Tue, 12 Oct 2010 17:37:06 -0300

Fw: [NABOKV-L] [NABOKOV-L] A recurrent typo or a pun?
PS: The message went out before I duly checked.
The list of misprints Nabokov mentions in SO, are applicable to the Putnam edition, 1962, second impression.
There is an added footnote to it, an "Errata Department" aside, where the misprints from the Lancer Books paperback edition of Pale Fire, 1963 are mentioned.
It is noted that "Nabokov's other books are relatively free from misprints..." (curious, no?)

The "Litt" is not mentioned, it must be a novel thing, or a deliberate wordplay indeed.
Cf. Strong Opinions, Vintage International paperback,,1990, page 75.


From: Jansy Berndt de Souza Mello
Sent: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 4:13 PM
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] [NABOKOV-L] A recurrent typo or a pun?

Eric Hyman: "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." [an item that is related to S K-B's "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."! 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!..." in answer to JM's query: "Lines 376-377: was said in English Litt to be" ..."Pale Fire": Library of America Nabokov, p.578; Everyman's p.194.]

JM: I dare insist that it is a persistent typo. Somewhere in "Strong Opinions" Nabokov notifies his readers about several mistypes he's spotted in "Pale Fire," but I haven't yet located this entry to see if he, himself, complains about "litt."

Alexey Sklyarenko corrected an item, related to "circumnavigation" and Baron von Langsdorff. I should have spelled Yuri Lisyanki. He explains that the name Yuri is a form of Georgiy and corresponds to English George. As to the family name Lisyanski, it comes from lis, "(dog-)fox"."
I was reminded of former discussions related to Webster's "foxes" (and Stephen Dedalus' dog in Ulysses), because I just came across a stuffed fox ("or coyote) reposing on a black trunk that lies on top of a bigger brown one in Shade's basement (Shade does write about "foxed files", premonitorily perhaps!).

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