Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025650, Thu, 28 Aug 2014 00:34:56 -0300

As sightings go (?)... here's PNIN
".Which leads to the book that was responsible for the convergence of my
furtive reading life with my academic one: Pnin. Before we went home to read
it, Professor Beaujour told us that Nabokov had buried a secret image
throughout the book. I set out to discover it with unprecedented fervor.
After reading the book twice, I decided the secret image was a mermaid. The
sea theme recurs often and there are a few mentions of mermaid tails. But I
was wrong (at least that wasn't the image Professor Beaujour had in mind);
it was a squirrel, which, as the all-knowing narrator tells us, is a Greek
word meaning "shadow-tail." Nabokov planted belochki throughout the
book-into Pnin's childhood bedroom, the name of his pediatrician, the park
where he hyperventilates on his way to the Cremona lecture. Professor
Beaujour set about the task of uncovering for us, one by one, the great
wealth of secret squirrels in the book-they were practically on every page,
unmissable, yet I'd missed them. I became dizzy with joy."

I Hated English Class, Until We Read Nabokov- The novelist taught me how to
leave room for magic. August 26,2014
By Yelena Akhtiorskaya

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