Stephen: Strange, I can’t recall ever seeing a coloured photo of VN. We can always ask Dmitri. The desktop image on my new 15” MacBook PRO is set to show that delightful black’n’white photograph of VN peering out of an American car. He’s on the (right) passenger side, of course, confirming the trivium [?] known to us all, that Nabokov couldn’t, or wouldn’t, drive. The contrast with Dmitri, in this respect, is enormous. Eye-colour, though, does have genetic influences, so knowing the father’s and son’s shades would be interesting.

The relevance to Hazel, the character, is rather shady! After all, the spectrum of human-eye colours is rather limited, at least in the number of colour-names allowed on passports. I once tried to enter in my passport form, “Icy Blue with a faint, petulant Greenish shimmer.” This was rudely corrected to “Blue.”

Was it Madame Bovary whose eye-colour changed in different episodes?
Some said Flaubert slipped up (recall VN’s “Homais nodded” quip about a different minor mistake in the novel), others that eye-colours really do change, and with dramatic effect, as observed by the meticulous Flaubert.

Re-the name Hazel, I can add a well-known Scouse joke among Liverpool Catholics:

Yer wha’? HAZEL? Dat’s no name fer a gerl! Dere’s 300 bleedin’ Saints in de bleedin’ Calendar, and yer go an call ‘er after a bleedin’ NUT!”
(Translations sent on request.)

Stan Kelly-Bootle
On 30/09/2010 13:03, "Stephen Blackwell" <sblackwe@UTK.EDU> wrote:

Re: seeing from Hazel's (shaded) eyes:

No time for research right now, but my memory and at least one source gives Nabokov's eyes a hazel shade.  

...The Atlantic's ninth editor-in-chief, Edward Weeks.   The two men were introduced in 1941 by the critic Edmund Wilson and began to meet regularly for lunch at th eRutz Hotel in Boston. Weeks was enchanted by Nabokov. As the editor recalled years later in an interview,"He would come in a shabby tweed coat, trousers bulging at the knee, but be quite the most distinguished man in the room, with his perfectly beautiful hazel eys, his fine brown hair, the elan, the spark . . . ."

The American Idea: The Best of the Atlantic Monthly
By Robert Vare, Daniel B. Smith, p. 70

Any significance to the present discussion?

Stephen Blackwell
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