Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0015633, Wed, 31 Oct 2007 22:47:29 -0400

Re: query: serenity and trinity
Sam Gwynn said: "Some of this could be sheer Van-ity."

Matt Roth: Yes, if by that you mean Thackeray's Vanity Fair.

There are two charades (this time, games) acted out in Vanity Fair. About a
month ago, I looked them up and found out that there might be a connection
to the second of them (the one with the Turks in it) in Ada. (Ostap Bender,
the hero of The Twelve Chairs and The Golden Calf, repeatedly says that his
father was a Turkish subject and that his full name is Ostap Suleiman
Ibrahim Berta Maria Benderbey.) I also looked up "charade" in the
Encyclopedia Brittanica where there was an example of charade (puzzle):

My first is a Tartar,
My second is a letter;
My all is a country,
No Christmas dish better. (Turkey)

Quite apart from the above subject, Brian, as the author of Annotations, may
find it interesting that one of the gamblers in Gogol's play "Igroki" ("The
Gamblers") affectionately calls the pack of (apparently, marked) cards
"Adelaida Ivanovna". In Ada, Mr Plunkett is also full of poetry.

I apologize for the mistakes in my previous post. "Charade-looking puzzle"
should be "charade-like looking puzzle," "key-word" should be "key" and
"anagrammatic" has only one "n" in it.


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