Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0002387, Fri, 26 Sep 1997 15:21:21 -0700

Re: LOLITA's "Chestnut Lodge" (fwd)
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@UCSBVM.ucsb.edu>
Subject: Re: LOLITA's "Chestnut Lodge" (fwd)

From: Jeff Edmunds <jhe@psulias.psu.edu>

I don't intend to join the melee, but I would like to make one brief reply
to Peter Kartsev's statement that we shouldn't "underrate him [VN] by
ascribing to him the kind of fun and pun that immature schoolboys enjoy in
lavatories and suchlike places."

All great artists, I maintain, are children at heart. There is ample
evidence that the English Nabokov was not above 'schoolboy' puns. There is
a wonderful story of someone telling N of a teacher's discomfiture at the
amorous activities of two of her students at the back of her classroom,
which the the storyteller referred to as "spooning." Nabokov replied that
the teacher should have been grateful they were not "forking."

From spooning to spoonerism: Chapter 11 of _Transparent Things_ opens with
Julia asking Hugh Person "if he cared to see _Cunning Stunts_, an 'avant
garde' hit..."

You see, Nabokov was a cunning linguist.

Jeff Edmunds