Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001332, Fri, 20 Sep 1996 09:29:13 -0700

Re: QUERY: "Cakewalking" in "Speak, Memory" (fwd)
EDITOR'S NOTE: JOHN BURT FOSTER <jfoster@osf1.gmu.edu>, originator of the
reponse below, is the author of NABOKOV'S ART OF MEMORY AND EUROPEAN
MODERNISM (Princeton U.P., 1993).

I have memories of seeing the word "cakewalk" in Russian (as "kekuok"
perhaps) in Andrey Bely's Petersburg, a novel that Nabokov of course knew
very well. It formed part of the terrorist Dudkin's vituperations
against contemporary decadence, and was presumably a negative response to
European interest in African and African American culture in the early
20th century.

John Foster
English / George Mason University
Email Address: "jfoster@gmu.edu"
(Please note address change)