NABOKV-L post 0019087, Thu, 14 Jan 2010 20:17:51 -0700

Re: Powerful Kramler: Nabokov decoded ...
On Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 9:28 AM, Gary Lipon <> wrote:

> On Jan 14, 2010, at 9:56 AM, jansymello wrote:
> I mean, the substantive "Stange" meaning "perch,"
> (Perhaps belaboring the point, but)
> I don't get an entry for "stange" meaning "perch" in,
> my first goto source for words, only a town in Norway. So I'm confused as to
> what you mean.
> Checked some German and French translation sites. Nothing.

"Stang" is in the NSOED, listed as "Scottish and dialect". The Scottish
part goes well with Lochanhead.

I agree that "larvorium" appears to be Nabokov's coinage (though I haven't
checked the full OED yet). He took credit for "iridule" too.

The reason it never caught on may be that the phenomenon as described by
Shade almost certainly doesn't exist, and the phenomena as described in that
interview already had names.

The peculiar thing is that "rail" and "stang" are both monosyllabic and thus
> work equally well in terms of prosody.

I think the alternative would have been "pole", not "rail". I definitely
imagine this stang as vertical.

> Surely VN would have considered a common word like "rail"; thus must of
> really intended "stang".

Well, he and Shade both like unusual words, too.

> Perhaps VN thought the word sounded bright and ringing, suggesting "steel"
> and "tang", and thus appropriate to the context.

That sounds very Nabokovian to me.

Jerry Friedman

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