NABOKV-L post 0008910, Fri, 14 Nov 2003 11:58:27 -0800

Fw: Fw: a few thoughts re ADA's "Yolande Kickshaw"
a few thoughts re query
----- Original Message -----
From: Jansy Berndt de Souza Mello
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Sent: Friday, November 14, 2003 11:56 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: a few thoughts re ADA's "Yolande Kickshaw"

Hi, Carolyn
I always enjoy the associative sweep of your contributions and the idea of Kickshaw as "quelque chose" and" kickshoes" is fascinating.
The theme in relation to Yolande/ Violet Knox ( Nox?) is, of course, Ada´s bisexuality and there are often references not only to Cinderella´s lost slipper ( it is usually the "ashette" maid, Blanche, that leaves her slippers all over the novel while carrying candles... ) but her " Glass" shoes.
In Brazil lesbians are referred to as " sapatão" ( big shoe ) . Do you know any English, or French expression linking shoes, big feet and lesbianism? Those might give suport to your "kickshoe" idea. Or, perhaps, lead us to investigate that omnipresent Blanche shadow ?
Jansy .

----- Original Message -----
From: D. Barton Johnson
Sent: Friday, November 14, 2003 2:19 PM
Subject: Fw: a few thoughts re ADA's "Yolande Kickshaw"

----- Original Message -----
From: Carolyn Kunin

I thought "Yolande" might be Landoy & thought there might be a Pushkin link. Turned out I was thinking of Lanskoy, so that didn't work. But the name still seemed familiar. A little googling turned up an obscure 19th century French author, three of whose books were in the Bibliotheque Nationale (published 1847-1858 if I recall perhaps approximately). Not promising.

But I still thought I should know the Landoy name. Eventually I realized that it referred to Colette's maternal family from Belgium (sometimes spelled Landois). And in fact the "author" Landoy was Colette's maternal uncle.

It seemed to me that VN never appreciated Colette (a longtime favorite of my own), but he does mention her (and by half of her full name, "Sidonie [Gabrielle] Colette") along with "Sigrid Mitchell" and "Margaret Unset." The only interesting thing about that is that Colette was never called by her first name, Sidonie, but her mother went by that name (signing herself "Sidonie Landoy") although her actual first name was Adele. Another Ada? She certainly was bohemian in her youth, and she and her brothers were involved in some odd Fourieriste ideas some of which she passed on to her (bi-sexual) daughter.

But the Kickshaw part goes in another direction -- back to Chose and shoes. Kickshaw is the french "quelque chose" badly pronounced, as our friend de Livery would say, and also was sometimes mispronounced as "kickshoes."

It doesn't however add up to anything, that I can see. I am in fact rathering tiring of our Ada, none of it seems to add up to anything that I can see.

EDNOTE. Interesting but inconclusive. If "Yolande Kickshaw" is an anagram, I suspect both names should be involved in a single answer, e.g. Vivian Darkbloom. The only "kickshaw" association I can come up with in the title of Peter Lubin's brilliant article on VN "Kickshaws and Motley" that was much admired by VN.