Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0026543, Sun, 18 Oct 2015 23:56:47 +0100

Re: Botkin as prisoner of Zembla in Pale Fire
I agree with Carolyn that VN is unlikely to have been very interested in El Shaddai as one of the names of the Ineffable God, but for accuracy it should be noted that El Shaddai relates to "breast". Jacob invokes this meaning in his blessing for his son Joseph ("blessings of the breast and womb").

Anthony Stadlen

Sent from my iPhone

> On 17 Oct 2015, at 23:40, Carolyn Kunin <chaiselongue@ATT.NET> wrote:
> On Oct 17, 2015, at 1:00 AM, Alexey Sklyarenko wrote: The god’s name means in Hebrew “Almighty” and brings to mind Shade, the poet who is killed by Gradus (as he is called by Kinbote, the mad commentator of Shade’s poem who imagines that he is the last self-banished king of Zembla, Charles the Beloved).
> Dear Alexey,
> El (god) Shaddei (the destroyer) is sometimes translated as God Almighty - but that is a loose translation. ƒor those interested I copy part of Wikipedia's discussion of the question below. I personally doubt that VN was thinking of this (but see reference to mountain) when he named his poet Shade, but you never know. I similarly doubt that VN had Gilgamesh in mind - he really never showed much interest in the Semitic side of literature or linguistics and his philosemitism probably did not extend that far. By the way, in the Heine poem the word Adonay (or Adonai) is the most usual word for God in Jewish religious use - it is a euphemism meaning "my lord." The orthodox go further and use the euphemism of the euphemism ha shem, meaning "the name."
> Carolyn
> El Shaddai (Hebrew: אל שדי‎, IPA: [el ʃaˈdːaj]) is one of the names of the primary Judaic God. El Shaddai is conventionally translated as God Almighty but while the translation of El as "god" or "lord" in Ugarit/Canaanite language is straightforward, the literal meaning of Shaddai is the subject of debate.
> According to Exodus 6:2, 3, Shaddai (שַׁדַּי) is the name of the god known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The name Shaddai is again used as the god's name later in the Book of Job.
> Shaddai meaning destroyer[edit]
> The root word "shadad" (שדד) means "to overpower" or "to destroy". This would give Shaddai the meaning of "destroyer", representing one of the aspects of the god, and in this context it is essentially an epithet. The meaning of Shaddai may go back to the original sense of "shadad" which was "to be strong" akin to Arabic "shadiid" (شديد) "strong".[1] The termination "ai", typically signifying the first person possessive plural, functions as a pluralis excellentiae like other titles for the Hebrew deities, Elohim ("gods") and Adonai ("my lords"). The possessive quality of the termination had lost its sense and become the lexical form of both Shaddai and Adonai, similar to how the connotation of the French word Monsieur changed from "my lord" to being an honorific title.[2]
> Another theory is that Shaddai is a derivation of a Semitic stem that appears in the Akkadian shadû ("mountain") and shaddā`û or shaddû`a ("mountain-dweller"), one of the names of Amurru. This theory was popularized by W. F. Albright[citation needed] but was somewhat weakened when it was noticed[by whom?] that the doubling of the medial ‘d ’ is first documented only in the Neo-Assyrian period. However, the doubling in Hebrew might possibly be secondary. According to this theory, the god is seen as inhabiting a holy mountain, a concept not unknown in ancient West Asian mythology (see El), and also evident in the Syriac Christian writings of Ephrem the Syrian, who places Eden on an inaccessible mountain-top.
> Google Search
> the archive Contact
> the Editors NOJ Zembla Nabokv-L
> Policies Subscription options AdaOnline NSJ Ada Annotations L-Soft Search the archive VN Bibliography Blog
> All private editorial communications are read by both co-editors.

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com
AdaOnline: "http://www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/
The Nabokov Society of Japan's Annotations to Ada: http://vnjapan.org/main/ada/index.html
The VN Bibliography Blog: http://vnbiblio.com/
Search the archive with L-Soft: https://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?A0=NABOKV-L

Manage subscription options :http://listserv.ucsb.edu/lsv-cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=NABOKV-L