Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000191, Thu, 3 Feb 1994 10:01:15 -0800

Re: PNIN query (fwd) COMMENT (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 1994 11:18:56 EST
From: EJNICOL@root.indstate.edu
Subject: Re: PNIN query (fwd) COMMENT

While I don't at present see any association of Eileen Lane with the
first two, I have two comments. One: the query brings up a
possible association with the very first two lines of MacBeth: "When
we three shall meet again / In thunder, lightning, or in rain."
Three students, three witches. The second line sounds much
like the Pushkin line that later bedevils Pnin, "in fight, in travel,
or in waves" (68) and again on 82. Not an association Nabokov would
miss, right?

As to Ms. Lane, I believe she should not be mentioned without her
accompanying adjective: "languid Eileen Lane." Her last name, the
participle of the verb "to lie," demonstrates exactly how languid she
is; indeed, her name almost conjugates lie, lay, lain, while Eileen
starts with "lie" spelled backwards. All of which is to say that her
name has its own reasons for being, and may not have more MacBeth
associations than those listed above.

Charles Nicol, Indiana State U