Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0011812, Fri, 9 Sep 2005 20:20:21 -0700

Fw: three Nabokovian blunders in Ada
three Nabokovian blunders in Ada
----- Original Message -----
From: Carolyn Kunin
To: D. Barton Johnson
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2005 7:38 AM
Subject: three Nabokovian blunders in Ada

I did not invent the concept of a Nabokovian 'blunder' - Nabokov himself
did. During one interview he admitted to planting three 'blunders' in Ada
(see Strong Opinions, p. 285)

Dear Don & List,

I was intrigued enough by Jo Morgan's claim about "Nabokovian blunders" to look into Strong Opinions, p. 285 to find out what this was all about. Three new clues planted in Ada in the guise of errors? What fun! Alas, reality is more prosaic:

I planted three blunders, meant to ridicule mistranslations of Russian classics, in the first paragraph of my Ada: the opening sentence of Anna Karenin (no additional "a," printer, she was not a ballerina) is turned inside out; Anna Arkadievna's patronymic is given a grotesque masculine ending; and the title of Tolstoy's family chronicle has been botched by the invented Stoner or Lower ....

Ah ha! So there you have the three blunders Nabokov admitted to planting in Ada!* One can only wonder about the blunders he didn't admit to . . .


* nota bene: two of the three "blunders" are definitely "gender bending" . . .