NABOKV-L post 0023202, Mon, 6 Aug 2012 11:06:56 -0600

Re: nikto b
> From: Alexey Sklyarenko <skylark1970@MAIL.RU>
> Steve is wrong! From Pushkin's Mozart i Salieri (scene II):
> Моцарт
> Когда бы все так чувствовали силу
> Гармонии! Но нет: тогда б не мог
> И мир существовать; никто б не стал
> Заботиться о нуждах низкой жизни;
> Все предались бы вольному искусству.
> I guess, I change my mind about nikto b

Nancy K. Anderson's translation is

Mozart: If only everyone could feel the power
Of harmony like you! But no, for then
The world could not exist; no one would want
To spend time taking care of life's low needs;
All would be given over to free art.

For newcomers to the list, this subject arose because Carolyn Kunin pointed
out that "Botkin" mirror-reflected could be "nikto b", which would mean
something like "probably no one". People have said here that this is not
grammatical by itself as the answer to a question such as "Who is Botkin?"
but still the existence of the phrase in Pushkin might make us take this
idea more seriously.

(Carolyn has never given her full "solution" to *Pale Fire*, as far as I
know, but she believes Shade and Kinbote are two personalities in one body,
like Jekyll and Hyde. This doesn't leave much room for Botkin, so she must
be glad to see evidence for her idea that Botkin is "no one". Since I
don't think *Pale Fire* has a "real story", I'm glad too, and I too thank

Jerry Friedman

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