Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0005513, Sat, 7 Oct 2000 11:09:12 -0700

Fw: PNIN's Tristram W. Thomas and "Tristam": John Rea 's reply to
The immediately following is John Rea's reply to my reponse to his
"Original" message.

I don't presume how the ologists get connected to
Tristram Thomas, but on the other hand this probably
isn't necessary. Some of VV's names are just fun in
themselves, and he takes the occasion of popping them
into the text. There is (apparently!) no need to
do more with the "Starr" couple, than note the anagram
of Sartre. (Gene Barabtarlo erred here in believing that Sartre
was married to Simone de Beauvoir -- for whom Sartre
used the nickname "Beaver" as a pun, although maybe
also in its meaning of pudendum muliebris.

----- Original Message -----
From: "D. Barton Johnson" <chtodel@GTE.net>
To: <nabokv-l@listserv.ucsb.edu>
Sent: Friday, October 06, 2000 1:25 PM
Subject: PNIN's Tristram W. Thomas and "Tristam": Coincidence?

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "john.rea" <john.rea@gateway.net>
> ----------------- Message requiring your approval (20
> lines) ------------------
> Being, like VV. fascinated by the coincidences that
> Log and his assistants place before us, and being in
> part a medievalist (as well as a linguist), I am
> intrigued by one of Pnin's academic colleagues at
> Waindell, namely Tristram W. Thomas.
> Now the two basic (but fragmentary) Old French texts
> of the Tristram material are, respectively, by Beroul
> and Thomas (sic), the last being marvellously edited
> by Bedier. These, in turn, appear to be the bases of
> Middle High German versions by, respectively, Gottfried
> von Straszburg and Eilhard von Oberg: the latter
> having been translated into English by the late J.
> W. Thomas. These coincidences are the nicer when we
> recall VV's interest in (and occasional use of) the
> Tristram material.
> Nabokov is so full of a number of things that....
> John
> --------------------------------------------------
> EDITOR's NOTE. Yea and verily. VN studied these texts at Cambridge. On the
> other hand...it remains obscure how the anthropologist and the
> might relate to Tristram. Any ideas? As an aside, I note for the first
> that VN anagrammatically reenacts Pnin's confusion of the two men via
> area of specialization: aNTHROpOLOGIST/ornithologist.