Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0022007, Sun, 18 Sep 2011 03:01:43 -0300

Re: ha-ha
A. Sklyarenko: As I pointed out in several articles (Russian and English), "the ha-ha of a doubled ocean" hints at the absence of the Bering Strait on a globe which drove mad the geography teacher in Ilf and Petrov's "The Golden Calf" (chapter XVI: "Jahrbuch fuer Psychoanalytik").

JM: Nabokov, in ADA, showed a great interest in navigatory matters (related to the importance of the Bering Strait) and to others concerning Russian Arctic fur traders.
There are also references to the antipodal Capitain Horn, Verne, Magellan and Lisianski (a circumnavigator, if memory serves me right). Perhaps in this instance Nabokov didn't have "The Golden Calf" in mind? (it's almost impossible to check that...)

btw:When I quoted Boyd's example about the "ha-ha," I was referring to the religious insight of the "ah-ha"

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