NABOKV-L post 0026676, Thu, 3 Dec 2015 14:28:16 -0200

RES: [NABOKV-L] Colonel Peter Gusev & Gide the Lucid in Pale Fire
A Sklyarenko: A tray with fruit and drinks was brought in by a jeune
beauté, as dear Marcel would have put it, nor could one help recalling
another author, Gide the Lucid, who praises in his African notes so warmly
the satiny skin of black imps. (note to Line 691)/ André Gide is the author
of Les Faux Monnayeurs (“The Counterfeiters,” 1925). In Chekhov’s story V
ovrage (“In the Ravine,” 1900) Anisim Tsybukin (Lipa’s husband) is arrested
for counterfeiting coins. In his poem Slava (“Fame,” 1942) VN says that he
“kept changing countries like counterfeit money.” Before arriving in
America, Botkin (the American scholar of Russian descent, Shade’s, Kinbote’s
and Gradus’ “real” name), too, seems to have changed several countries
(Finland, Sweden, France).

Jansy Mello: V.Nabokov makes direct reference to A.Gide’s African notes,
probably “Travels in the Congo” or the “Retour du Chad” (another title is
“Corydon” related to the subject of social prejudice and homosexualism).
This indication comes right after he mentions “dear Marcel” who also wrote
about homosexuals in “In Search of Lost Time” (the Baron de Charlus,
Albertine..) and in two other works (“Les plaisirs et les jours” and the
unfinished “Jean Santeuil”.
Sklyarenko’s selection of a quote about “the tray with fruit and
drinks” is followed by another revelatory paragraph in which Sylvia
O’Donnell mentions, languidly: "… "I have just called up the college — yes,
take that footstool — and he is much better. Try this mascana fruit, I got
it especially for you, but the boy is strictly hetero, and, generally
speaking, Your Majesty will have to be quite careful from now on.”
In connection to “Counterfeiters”, it is worth remembering VN’s short-story
“The Leonardo”.

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