Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0002480, Sat, 18 Oct 1997 10:20:45 -0700

VN pronunciation

Earl Sampson's note, with the clever verse, brought me up short. A long time
fan of VN simply as a reader, have I been mispronouncing his name? I took as my
guide what I read somewhere - that VN himself gave his students the rhyme:

The querulous squawk of
the heron at night
Prompts Nabokov
to write.

(I don't remember the form, but am practically sure about the words, as I read
them in whoever-it-was's article or essay or reminiscence.)

From which I assumed that I ought to say Nah - bawk - uv, with the stress on
the second syllable.

It's hard not to stress the squawk above. In fact, I liked to insert Professor
before Nabokov for meter's sake, Vladimir not fitting my idea of the "right"

So now I learn that I too have been "misstressing in the usual way" and will
endeavor to remember and be guided by huggery muggery. But what of the
querulous squawk? Surely many others of this list have seen it, and likely know

Mary Krimmel