Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0015545, Thu, 4 Oct 2007 14:16:20 +0000

Re: THOUGHTS re: Kinbote's discipline, toothwort, cinderella

An online Swedish-English dictionary translates Nattochdag as a combination of three words: "Natt och dag" = "Night and day."


Bruce Stone
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2007 22:48:06 -0400
From: Rsgwynn1@CS.COM
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] THOUGHTS re: Kinbote's discipline, toothwort, cinderella

In a message dated 10/3/2007 3:10:55 PM Central Daylight Time, NABOKV-L@HOLYCROSS.EDU writes:

Alexey asked: Is Kinbote a Professor of Russian? The head of the department

to which Kinbote belongs is Prof. Nattochdag, not Prof. Pnin, the head of

the Russian department.

MR: No, a thousand times no! Kinbote does not teach Russian. I have seen

this mistake in at least two other published articles, as well. I quote

from Kinbote's note to line 691, where Sylvia O'Donnell addresses Kinbote:

"I'm sure you'll like it up there [at Wordsmith] though I wish I could

figure out why anybody should be so keen on teaching Zemblan." That of

course does not answer the question of what Kinbote/Botkin really teaches,

but it's not Russian or English. I think most speculation has pointed to his

being part of a Scandinavian Studies dept., no?

P. 281: "You'll find him, I'm sure, in North West Three where we have the Icelandic Collection." Of course, the only authority we have on this is Kinbote who, if he was present, was soon seen "crossing over {the open gallery] at a quick military march from east to west." Nicely symbolic directions, by the way. C. K. explicitly gives us the information that he does not teach Russian.

What does Nattochdag mean in Norse languages, by the way?

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