Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001542, Tue, 10 Dec 1996 15:49:33 -0800

Re: PNIN query: a la fourchette (fwd)
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 1996 13:01:14 -0800 (PST)
I also always interpreted it as the "American" style party as opposed to
the Russian-style, more formal "sit-down" dinner. I think it is quite
significant in terms of Pnin's attempted "adaptation" to the new country.
He bought a house, is learning how to drive, and is even throwing the kind
of parties that other faculty throws and is accustomed to. Then comes the
blow if his non-renewal.

Galya Diment

On Tue, 10 Dec 1996, Donald Barton Johnson wrote:

> A query to Russian-speaking readers of the forum:
> In "Pnin", our hero gives his party "a la fourchette" (sp?). In the
> recent Library of America edition, Boyd's notes say (quote from memory):
> "'with a fork', i.e. more than just finger food".
> I did not know the French meaning, but in my experience with its usage in
> Russian, it meant "buffet-style", as opposed to "sit-down dinner".
> Can anyone confirm or controvert that?
> Vitaly Kupisk,
> Berkeley, CA