Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0022268, Sun, 25 Dec 2011 23:59:22 -0200

Re: devil's joke in The Event
Alexey Sklyarenko: " [...] In Pushkin's novel in verse (Chapter Six) Onegin kills in a duel Lensky. Barboshin, as he prepares to perform his duty of the private detective hired by Troshcheykin, sings from Chaykovski's opera: Начнём пожалуй ('Yes, if you like, let's start')."
[footnote: "In Pushkin's novel Lenski speaks these words with a different intonation: 'Let's start if you are willing'." ]

JM: In 'The Luzhin Defense' we find: " When everything had been set out, Luzhin suddenly made up his mind and muttered: 'I already can play a little.' 'Who taught you?' asked his father without lifting his head. 'I learned it at school,' replied Luzhin. 'Some of the boys could play.' 'Oh! Fine,' said his father, and added (quoting Pushkin's doomed duelist): 'Let's start, if you are willing'."
Differently from Nabokov's novel, in its movie adaptation by Marleen Gorris (with a script by Peter Berry) this quote is repeated at least three times to bring out Oedipal undertones .

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