Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000204, Tue, 8 Feb 1994 12:56:45 -0800

Names in Nabokov (fwd)
I would pre-pend to this message that Christine Rydel has compiled a
dictionary of names in Nabokov's work that is under contract to Ardis.
Long delayed by computer-related problems, one can only hope that it will
eventually appear. It should facilitate a thorough investigation of
Nabokovian names. A systematic typology has long been in order.---DBJ

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 1994 10:31 EST
From: John Lavagnino <LAV@BRANDEIS.bitnet>
Subject: Names in Nabokov

With respect to Eileen Lane's languor, it occurs to me that the names in
Nabokov can work in many different ways, and the name that works mainly
through connotations of its sound may well be the most common variety.
Certainly the two most famous names in Nabokov---Lolita and Humbert
Humbert---are like this; it may be that we hunt a bit too much for other
sources because they seem more objective. Of course there can be many
different allusions or connotations in one name, but sound is perhaps

The range of ways in which the names work is striking: sound, etymology
(real or invented, and often mixing several languages), literary
allusion, sociological allusion, anagrams... Elsewhere in *Pnin* we
encounter Oliver Bradstreet Mann, who is clearly meant to be Samuel
Hazzard Cross, though the only thing about the character that definitely
indicates this is the meter of his name.

John Lavagnino