Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0005312, Sun, 9 Jul 2000 10:10:30 -0700

delalande (fwd)
From: Alexei Medvedev <alexmedved@yahoo.com>

Dear all!

I would like to share with you one of my guesses.
Viewing the archive footage of life in Paris in the
30-ies (I'm making a TV-documentary on VN's love
affair with Irina Guadanini), I came across a shot of
a clock on a lamppost with a name of manufacturer
written in big letters on its face. It seem to be like
a standard clock, which could have been the same all
over the city. And the name was Delalande. Is it
possible that Nabokov borrowed the name of his
invented double from a Paris clock manufacturer?
Maybe, waiting for someone under the clock?
As you remember, Nabokov cited non-existent Delalande
to be the only writer who influenced his ouevre. Also
the epigraph to Invitation to a Beheading is
ostensibly taken from Delalande's "Discours sur les
Well, I understand that this conjecture is a bit
shaky, but as you know reality is always ready to give
us a Nabokovian wink. For example, in XIXth century
tax list from Lyon "Pierre Delalande, fabricant des
masques" is mentioned. Of course, Nabokov hardly knew
about it, but what a charming allusion! By the way,
perhaps some of the list members would like to share
some nabokovian coincidences from their lives?
Wouldn't it be fun?

Alexei Medvedev, Moscow

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