NABOKV-L post 0010798, Wed, 15 Dec 2004 09:51:22 -0800

Fwd: RE: Re: Re: Query: wordplay in Russian
Dear All,

"The end of my name and wit" because she has just played with the ending of
the name Patagonia, as Verne does in Les Enfants du Capitaine Grant ("I
could be instantly saved by you. Take the fastest flying machine you can
rent straight to El Paso, your Ada will be waiting for you there, waving
like mad, and we'll continue, by the New World Express, in a suite I'll
obtain, to the burning tip of Patagonia, Captain Grant's Horn, a Villa in
Verna, my jewel, my agony. Send me an aerogram with one Russian word--the
end of my name and wit"), but she is at her wit's end, because she hardly
expects her forced wit in the letter to move Van to reply "Da." Her wit,
therefore, is exhausted.

Alexey, what would make anyone else "interpret it that way"--that Demon and
Ada have been lovers? Don, what are these "hints"? ADA is not reticent about
sex, incest, or infidelity, so there would have to be much stronger clues
than that Demonia's first and last letters spell Ad, or whatever is supposed
to constitute the clue.

Brian Boyd
EDNOTE. Brian, I said "Somewhat Dissuaded." The particular hint I had in mind
was Demon's "too far" farewell kiss after the family dinner at the end of I-38.

-----Original Message-----
From: Donald B. Johnson []
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 7:05 PM
Subject: Fwd: Re: Re: Query: wordplay in Russian

Dear Tomasz,

One Russian word - "the end of Ada's name and wit" - is certainly "da"
(yes). Note that "da" also occurs in Ada's second letter where a sentence
consists of that single word:

"He [Demon] and I have gamed at Nevada, my rhyme-name town, but you are also
there, as well as the legendary river of Old Rus. Da. Oh, write me, one tiny
note, I'm trying so hard to please you!"

Note that "Nevada" is a town, not a State, on Antiterra. But Antiterra's
other name is DEMONIA. I think that Ada's "da" links Demon, the father of
Van and Ada, to the planet name Demonia. Note that, while the end of Ada's
name is "da," its beginning is "ad" (hell). So, Demonia = Hell.
By saying that "da" is also "the end of her wit," Ada seems to confirm
unWITtingly that she not just "enjoyed going places" with Demon at Nevada,
but that he was her lover. At least, I interpret it that way.
EDNOTE. I too have toyed with the idea that Demon is among Ada's lovers.
There are hints. I am somewhat dissuaded by Demon's apparently sincere
distress on discovering Van and Ada's affair. Or is he just jealous?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Donald B. Johnson" <>
Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2004 11:17 PM
Subject: Re: Query: wordplay in Russian

> Quoting "[Tomasz Cyba]" <tcyba@PRAST.PL>:
> > ----------------- Message requiring your approval (15 lines)
> > ------------------
> > In the first chapter of Part II of ADA, Van presents Ada's letters.
> > The fourth one ends with a wordplay, which proved unsolvable for me.
> >
> > After making a suggestion for Van (she wants him to join her in El
> > Ada says: 'Send me an aerogram with one Russian word - the end of my
> > and wit.'
> >
> > What is that 'one Russian word'?
> > Is it simply 'da'?
> > Then why 'wit'?
> >
> > Would somebody help me in my struggle with it?
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Tomasz
> -----------------------------------------------
> EDNOTE. My guess is that the wordplay involves both the DA of Ada and
> the
> phrase "at my wits end." both something esle might be involved.
> Do note, however the play on"burning tip" and the ""agonia" of

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