NABOKV-L post 0002268, Tue, 5 Aug 1997 08:32:00 -0700

Re: VN in Hofstadter's _Le ton beau de Marot_ (fwd)
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <>
Subject: Re: VN in Hofstadter's _Le ton beau de Marot_ (fwd)


>"...Can you imagine rewinding J.D. Salinger, John Updike, or for that matter,
>William Shakespeare, into Old English, the mirror image of fast-forwarding
>*Beowulf* or Chaucer into modern English? How about down-dating *Lolita* into

Lolita, lux vitae mei, ignis lumbi mei. Peccatum mei, anima mei.

Any more and you'll have to give me an advance! <g>

And an anecdote........

More than the strictures of translation, Hofstadter is interested in the
larger concept of what he calls "fluid analogy"; when is something like or
different enough to warrant a comparison. I paraphrase a funny passage from
James Gleick's _Genius_, a biography of Richard Feynman:

Hofstader was lecturing at Cal Tech about "slippery language" and asked,
"Who is the First Lady of Britain? Margaret Thatcher (who was then Prime
Minister), Queen Elizabeth? Prince Philip?"

Feynman was in a heckling mood and said, "My wife."

Hofstadter was thrown by this response. "Why her?" he asked.

Feynman replied, "Well, she's from England, and she's great!"

--Ian Stoba

From: Ian Stoba and Laurie Mandigo-Stoba <>