NABOKV-L post 0007056, Fri, 8 Nov 2002 19:45:43 -0800

Subject
Fw: Slat sign: VN & Merriam-Webster II & III
Date
Body
EDNOTE. See end.
----- Original Message -----
From: alex
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2002 6:14 PM
Subject: Slat sign: VN & Merriam-Webster II & III


If I remember it right, there is another instance in ADA, when Webster's Second proves a "good" dictionary: only there did I manage to find the definition of SLAT SIGN:

a sign having thin plates fixed perpendicularly to a flat surface; both the flat surface and the sides of the plates are painted in such a manner as to cause letters, pictures, or both to appear when viewed at different angles.

In ADA it is the title of Van's favorite novel. Incidentally, one ingenuous, but frivolous "translator" has turned it into Shyolkovyi Zhezl (A Silken Rod)!!! But, to say the truth, I don't know either how to translate it correctly into Russian. And another question: what really existing novel can be meant under it. If it is not ADA itself, probably PALE FIRE?

best regards,
Alexey
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EDNOTE. I have pondered the real novel (if any) underlying SLAT SIGN without success. I did note, however, that it anagrammatically yields the anatomical "glans," which is central to the "interview" between Van and Lucette at Kingston.