NABOKV-L post 0003300, Wed, 12 Aug 1998 15:08:22 -0700

Subject
Re: Nabokv's story "Krasavitsa" [A Russian Beauty] (fwd)
Date
Body
From: Gene Barabtarlo <GRAGB@mizzou1.missouri.edu>


<<The face of 19-year old
Olga is described as "perestarivshijsya" ("looking too old" -- sorry, I
don't have an English variant, so, here and further is my own imperfect
translation), besides, she is allways wearing a black cardigan>>

Nabokov has "perestarAvshimsia" (tried too hard and overdid it, not
"perestarivshimsya" (no such word in Russian). As for the Force-man, does
this mean that VN had an English pun in mind when he settled, in a Russian
story, on a surname for a Russified German? Then why would he not retain it
in the English translation? But Nabokov's names are never really parlants,
and his characters do not represent or signify any stratum or condition
(e.g., Pnin does not "represent" Russian emigres in academic America,
Godunov does not stand for the young generation of gifted expatriates
etc.), and he never imitated another writer without putting a key under the
doormat.