NABOKV-L post 0019445, Thu, 18 Feb 2010 21:30:41 -0700

Re: QUERY: Red Wop
Brian Boyd says in /Nabokov's Pale Fire/, p. 204, "her 'powder'-'red wop'
calls up in a flash an immigrant anarchist planting a bomb."

Wikipedia says, "The men [Sacco and Vanzetti] were followers of Luigi
Galleani <>, an Italian anarchist
who advocated revolutionary violence, including
assassination <>. Galleani
published *Cronaca Sovversiva* (*Subversive Chronicle*), a periodical that
advocated violent revolution, and an explicit bomb-making manual called *La
Salute è in voi!*. At the time, Italian anarchists ranked at the top of the
American government's list of dangerous enemies and had been identified as
suspects in several violent bombings and assassination attempts..."

I associate anarchism with black more than red, but that may not be

The only similar term I know for cheap Italian red wine is "dago red", and I
think I know that mostly from /M*A*S*H/.

Jerry Friedman

On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:33 PM, Matthew Roth <> wrote:

> A simple query. VN, we are told, found "delightful" the mirror
> words powder and "red wop." What does red wop mean? I read somewhere that it
> was slang word for cheap Italian wine. Is that right? If so, why is this
> particular inversion delightful? Is there some connection between powder and
> wine that I'm missing?
> Thanks,
> Matt Roth

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