NABOKV-L post 0018464, Thu, 16 Jul 2009 10:22:11 -0700

Subject
L N G of Q
Date
Body
Found on the back of a recent copy of TLS:

Ye nymphs of Q, then shun each B.
List to the reason Y:
For should A B C U at T
He'll surely sting your I.
Now in a grave L deep in Q,
She's cold as cold can B.
Whilst robins sing upon A U
Her dirge and L E G.

This chienerel was written in 1800 commemorating the death of Ellen
Gee of Kew, who was stung in the eye by a bee, and died.
Carolyn Kunin


On Jul 15, 2009, at 3:41 PM, jansymello wrote:

JF: Scott Houldin's post suggests another possibility: Ray could have
given Humbert's victim a name starting with Q to go with the title of
Vivian Darkbloom's autobiography. But I'm becoming less sure of what
we're talking about...By the way, I hope nobody thought "Gerald
Friedman" ("Spearwielder Peaceman") was my real name. This seems like
a good time to reveal that my name is Michael Ulibarri, and sign
myself...Mike U.

JM: Mike Who? Mike Gooe? Good arguments all around.
And I'm also becoming less sure of what we're talking. Also because of
our Ed's additional information, added to Alexey's comments and the
Russian "Kumir moi".

SB wrote: It might be worth listing some of the various
interpretations of what is "real" at what level of the novel
Lolita...John Ray, Jr. himself may lack "independent existence"--He
may (like Quilty) be a double of H.H. as well... Parts of this
approach have appeared in Julian Connolly's article in Nabokov Studies
No. 2. George Ferger (among others?) has drawn attention to the
curious parallel between Claire Quilty's initials and the first and
final letters in the name/title of Ray's 'good friend and
relation' (and H.H.'s lawyer) Clarence Choate Clark, Esq. Allegedly,
Clark's name is as "real" as Ray's. A side note on "My Cue": the title
in Nabokov's Russian translation becomes "Kumir moi", which draws its
"Ku" from "Kuil'ti", and means "My Idol"--and punningly evokes the
phrase "Ku--mir moi", or "Ku [Q] is my world" (as Alexander Dolinin
pointed out to me). An additional note for non-Russianists: The
construction "My Cue" very slightly evokes 1920s and '30s books on
Pushkin, one by Marina Tsvetaeva and one by Valerii Briusov, entitled
"Moi Pushkin" (My Pushkin).

JM: Nabokov once mentioned that Lolita's name was more famous than
his. I also vaguely remember a distinction he made between his way of
relating to "Lolita" and Flaubert's, who once stated, concerning
Madame Bovary: "Emma, c'est moi." In other words, the one thing I'm
certain right now is that Nabokov is not Lolita.
Changing the subject. I spent the afternoon trying to get hold of a
novel written in French ( I had read a translation into Portuguese)
which seemed to have various insistent, but vague, references to
Nabokov ( Shade's lines about a richly rhymed life and plexed
artistry, moths and butterflies and a very important squirrel).
The author, like Nabokov, is a consumate bilinguist. He was born in
Russia in 1958 and moved to France in 1987. As a French writer he
received various important prizes ( Médicis, Goncourt).
His name is Andrei Makine and the book is "La Musique d'Une Vie." I'm
curious to learn if anyone has spotted these "allusional themes". Only
after having access to his French novel would I get a clearer
"feeling" about his intentions.
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