NABOKV-L post 0010468, Sat, 30 Oct 2004 12:11:26 -0700

Fwd: ADA: Samoyed
Hello, it's the meticulous translator again.
Today, I've founded a little howler in Mr. Boyd's Annotations to Ada.

ADA, Part 1, Chapter 17, 104.03-04
'Accentuating her nose’s slight tilt smoothing it down, into Samoyed.'

And the note - 'Samoyed: An arctic dog originating in Western Siberia.'

I'm almost sure, this is not a dog, but a nomad. Samoyedes (also known as
Nenetses, or Nentsi) are the indigenous people of Siberia. Russia's
Indians, as we may call them. The comparison is still a little bit odd
(are the Samoyed girls that pretty?), but I really doubt VN would compare
his heroine's nose to a dog's.


----- End forwarded message -----

EDNOTE. A scholar/translator's work is never done. I suspect Boyd is right here.
Ada's nose is being compared to the dog's nose, not that of the Siberian tribe,
that lent the dog its name. "Samoyed," BTW, is the Russian name of the ethnic
group and means "cannibal," literally "self-eater." The politically correct
Russian name is the Nentsy. Having examined the web images of several Samoyeds
(both human and canine), I concede that the noses do not seem Ada-esque.
(Someone should really run down all the ADA/nose references on this point.)
I suggest VN may have been familiar with the term "Samoyed smile" which is
a standard term in dog show competitions. I quote from an authoritative source:

(b) Expression - The expression, referred to as "Samoyed expression," is very
important and is indicated by sparkle of the eyes, animation and lighting up of
the face when alert or intent on anything. Expression is made up of a
combination of eyes, ears and mouth. The ears should be erect when alert; the
mouth should be slightly curved up at the corners to form the "Samoyed smile"

Nose--Black for preference but brown, liver, or Dudley nose not penalized.
Color of nose sometimes changes with age and weather.

Are there any Samoyed owners on the list who