Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0020881, Sat, 16 Oct 2010 11:41:11 -0300

Vair and siz\\udcefy, columbine,\n sha de: what is the shade of Gradus greyness?
" If Lolita's eyes are "vair" or "gray" and related to a "columbine shade," then Nabokov's choice for Lolita's eye-color might also be indicating the commedia del'arte's love triangle."

We know that all colors delight Shade, even grey, and that one of the names assumed by Gradus is Jacques de Grey or James de Gray.
We haven't yet asked it this color indicates "a columbine shade."

The word in Russian (siziy), by its imagined resonance, helped me to realize that, in Portuguese, we don't have an independent word to describe "gray" or "gris," since the term we use is descriptive, as in "ashen colored" or "like ash" ( ie, we say "cinzento" and "cinza": would "siziy" in Russian also relate to cinederella's cindery ashes?)
In English you have various options to refer to grey. Leaden or plumbeous, for example. In this case, as in the "columbine shade," there is a hint of an opaque blueness in it which, I think, is absent from the merely grey, colorless ashes themselves.

Are the baroque Nabospeek, Bakhtin's rabelaisian carnival, the Italian commedia, the Russian balagan, indicated by the name "Gradus"?

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