NABOKV-L post 0010799, Wed, 15 Dec 2004 09:57:14 -0800

Fw: Query: wordplay in Russian ADA
(Dear Don, I put it more clear).

I'd propose a more trivial solution. Ada means that this pun - with Russian
DA and her name - is not a great joke. And that her wit is too weak to
something better and her taste is good enough to estimate the result. Just
an irony. A very Nabokovian device.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Donald B. Johnson" <>
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 9:04 AM
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.
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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