NABOKV-L post 0023990, Mon, 22 Apr 2013 18:31:39 -0700

The lands of cocaine and Cockaigne
He wrote: "e o antegozo de encontrar a menina sozinha derreteu-se como cocaína
em suas entranhas.” "

Strange how unpoetic this is, sounds very unpleasant really, although the
english translation provided by Jansy was very effective -- oh, no, I see now -
that was Dmitri's translation from The Enchanter (which I thought was po
angliisky originally, guess not).

How warming is cocaine? I myself only had one whiff of the stuff in college to
help me concentrate on some orchestral parts that needed to be proof read by me
and the composer in less than 8 hours (the parts were turned into us at 10 pm,
recording at 8 am). As in the Cole Porter song 'it bored me terrifically too',
but the job got done and the recording successfully made in under an hour -
something of a cocaine miracle. The great Alfred Cortot and the fictional
Sherlock were both addicted, but not to the point that it harmed them in any
way. Many artists find it useful apparently.

There's the land of Cockaigne, no relation that I'm aware of.* But I can imagine
a warm rush, drug induced perhaps, sent straight to the loins, so Nabokov's
metaphor is satisfactory.

*Cockaigne is either a land of plenty (and portrayed as such by Breughel: 'the
painting has been used to illustrate the Freudian oral stage of psychosexual
development. The painting portrays a paradise of oral pleasures') or relatedly,
the world turned upside down, in which peasants feast and the clergy starve.
Etymologically related to Cloud Cuckoo Land (Schlaraffenland auf Deutsch, Paese
della Cuccagana in Italy and Luilekkerland in Dutch [milk and honey land]. The
name Cockaigne came to mean London, where Cockneys lived. The Swedes say
Lubberland, the land of fat man.

So, to my surprise I find that Elgar's overture is about London and Londoners.
Ich habe keine Ahnung gehabt!


From: Jansy <jansy@AETERN.US>
Sent: Mon, April 22, 2013 12:25:47 PM
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] Lolita ... sin, soul & 'gird up the loins of your mind'?

Carolyn Kunin (on Vale de Gato's "Lolita" translation Lolita, brilho da minha
vida, fogo dos meus flancos. Minha alma, minha lama. Lo-lii-ta: a ponta da
língua enrola no palato e desliza, três socalcos, até que estaca, ao terceiro,
nos dentes. Lo. Li. Ta) - It's gorgeous - I love it. Fogo dos meus flancos.

Jansy Mello: In " The Enchanter," following Dmitri Nabokov's 1986 translation
from the Russian, we come across the word "loin" once more.
On the pocket Picador edition, p. 50, we read:" -and this foretaste of finding
the girl alone melted like cocaine in his loins."

It would be nice to learn the word in Russian that Vladimir Nabokov employed,
and compare it with the Russian translation of "Lolita" as well, to get a
feeling of how "loins" link to VN's vocabulary.

Discussing his translation in the afterword ("On a Book Entitled The
Enchanter") Dmitri N..refutes Andrew Field's (1986) hypothesis that the "Novel
with Cocaine might have been a deliberate mystification by Nabokov..." That
insertion, however, seems to be unrelated to the image employed by his father
concerning the protagonist's fantasied pleasures, then likened
to cocaine.(cocaine is also mentioned in "A Matter of Chance." There's a note
by VN where he states that " "'Sluchaynost', one of my earliest
tales, written at the beginning of 1924, in the last afterglow of my
bachelor life, was rejected by the Berlin emigre daily RuV ("We don't print
anecdotes about cocainists," said the editor, in exactly the same tone of voice
in which, thirty years later, Ross of The New Yorker was to say, "We don't print
acrostics," when rejecting "The Vane Sisters") and sent, with the assistance of
a good friend, and a remarkable writer, Ivan Lukash, to the Rigan Segodnya, a
more eclectic emigre organ, which published it on June 22, 1924. I would never
have traced it again had it not been rediscovered by Andrew Field a few years
ago." Cf.V.N., Tyrants Destroyed and Other Stories, 1975 .
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