NABOKV-L post 0010403, Sun, 3 Oct 2004 19:54:30 -0700

Re: Fwd: TT-13 Introductory Notes
Donald B. Johnson wrote:
> ----- Forwarded message from -----
> Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2004 13:31:19 +0900
> From: Akiko Nakata <>
> Reply-To: Akiko Nakata <>
> Subject: TT-13 Introductory Notes
> To:

I'll interlard the main post with my own whimsies: John
> ----------------------
> 44.01-06: Now we have to bring into focus the main street of Witt .

I'll come back to "Witt" later: (for the moment I only note that there
is no such place in Switzerland!)
. . .
> It teems with transparent people and processes, into which and through
which we> might sink
> with an angel's or author's delight, but we have to single out for this

transparency theme again, of course..

> Triple Sec--could be associated with *Three Tenses*--

and the many other triples in the text
> 44.21-22:

Cf.> Othello's death speech: "And say besides that in
> Aleppo once, / Where a malignant and a turbaned Turk / Beat a Venetian and
> traduced
> the state, / I took by th' throat the circumcised dog / And smote him -- thus
> 45.05-07: said in that lovely New York voice, with that harlot dash
he would
> have
> recognized even in heaven: "The john is a joke": John, another J name.

and of course part of the Jacques Jakes business.

> I thought "the john" was usually used for the men's restroom.
> Does Julia> refers to the men's room or the women's?

Refers (in America, at least) to ones of either sexual persuasion

> 45.08-09: the mask of an affable grin: Cf. "That monumental man with his
> clayey makeup
> and false grin" (Ch. 10).
45.13-14 believed that... Julia Moore had met Percy. Julia believed she
had. So did Hugh.

the humor of this comes from the fact that Armande uses "Percy", from
the first syllable of Hugh's family name, which Julia doesn't realize,
plus the fact that "percy" is slang for "penis". (See note in
Nabokovian 38:51-2 and also Cassell's Dictionary of Slang p 1145 s.v.
Percy, and E. and A. Lewin's Thesaurus of Slang p 276 s.v. penis with
other slang terms.)

We are accumulating such terms in French and in English, in
companionship with such bits as "cunning stunts" etc. The fact that no
one of these is a unique occurrence which we might discount and pass on,
but rather part of a "thematic" set, is what counts.

> 45.16: a dear soul: Cf. 48.2-3: "he [HP] was merely a rather dear one."
> 45.21-22: splitting into many small quick gestures peculiar to that woman: A
> filmic description--suspended-motion photographs or stop motion.
> 46.01: what a big snow drift: An avalanche motif.

and 46.03 "I'm sure it can't be 'rafale' in French" It isn't:
'rafale' is 'gust' as in gust of wind, like Italian 'raffica
I'll let the Russian experts chime in here
> 46.22: *Three Tenses*: The tense theme.

and three theme again and in the next citation
> 46.31: Alice, Beata, Claire: Cf. Ascot, Blur, Chur (Ch. 2).
> 47.10-11: Now you know what 'hot chocolate' has come to in Switzerland: Is
> hot
> chocolate really so distasteful in Switzerland, the birthplace of milk
> chocolate? I regret I forgot to try it when I went to Switzerland.
> 48.06: "Fascination" (a waltz)[by the cafe's loudplayer]

loudplayer does not strike me as being an actual English word: I could
be wrong.

is the theme music of the film *Love in the Afternoon* (1957). I
> cannot find any connection with the film. The waltz is used just as a cliche
> of a Romantic scene?

Might we suggest it is an "invention"?

48.16 "yellow blue tibia"

a pun Nabokove has used elswhere (including Ada), in the form "yellow
blue vase".


> Akiko Nakata
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