NABOKV-L post 0007062, Sat, 9 Nov 2002 10:48:37 -0800

Fw: Slat sign: VN & Merriam-Webster II & III
EDNOTE. AN excess of humility forbids editorial comment here.
----- Original Message -----
From: Brian Boyd (FOA ENG)
To: 'Vladimir Nabokov Forum'
Sent: Saturday, November 09, 2002 10:25 AM
Subject: RE: Slat sign: VN & Merriam-Webster II & III

The scholar and cryptologist famous for taking ADA clitorally has perhaps been overzealous to see a glans in The Slat Sign. A complete anagram offers The T Signals, or Letters from Terra--since those "letters" are "beamed" from Terra to Antiterra, or more precisely "beamed to Sig," to the hero Sig Leymanski, with his "anagram-looking name."

Brian Boyd

-----Original Message-----
From: D. Barton Johnson []
Sent: Saturday, November 09, 2002 4:46 PM
Subject: Fw: Slat sign: VN & Merriam-Webster II & III

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,
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.