NABOKV-L post 0019459, Fri, 19 Feb 2010 18:04:42 -0800

Re: QUERY: Red Wop Explained
Dear Jansy,

Give me a break! The correspondence between Wilson and VN was only
published in 1979, more than a decade after PF (1962):

Author/Name: Nabokov, Vladimir Vladimirovich, 1899-1977.
Title: The Nabokov-Wilson letters : correspondence between Vladimir
Nabokov and Edmund Wilson, 1940-1971 / edited, annotated and with an
introductory essay by Simon Karlinsky.
Edition: 1st ed.
Published/distributed: New York : Harper & Row, c1979.

What would VN's motive be in making reference to something in his
private correspondence? Or does it simply mean that powder/red wop is
without any hidden intention, which I guess is what we all assumed
before Matt Roth asked the question? But the problem remains - -
what's so "wonderful" about that? Or does VN simply give Hazel a joke
that had meaning only for himself and possibly Wilson? It just doesn't
add up.


p.s. "supreptitious"?

On Feb 19, 2010, at 11:35 AM, jansymello wrote:

C. Kunin:I fail to see what is the link between the apparently
explosive powder/red wop and Hazel?

JM: Once in a while I've the feeling that Kinbote bears traits
inspired in how Nabokov sees critic E.Wilson.
By his own admission, Kinbote notices that he has something in common
with Hazel (twisting of words).
Hazel twists T.S. Eliot into "Toilest" and "Powder" into "Red Wop."
This practice is part of Bunny-Volodya exchanges, long before Hazel
was born. Perhaps this element shared by Hazel and Kinbote is a jest
with E.Wilson and their supreptitious envious "ban"s?

I'll quote only from page 249 (letter 192, Feb.1949) VN addressed to
Do you still work upon such sets
as for example "step" and "pets,"
as "Nazitrap" and "partizan,"
"Red Wop" and "powder," "nab" and "ban"?

(And gosh! here we find "pets" and "powder" exploding in the same
"quadruplets"... more amusing coincidences?)
More about "amphisbaeniae" on page 241 ( VN's: stupor/Proust) and
E.Wilson's comment on pg. 244 ("stupor fits, not Proust, but reputes,
or better, rope Utes...")

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