Ben Chapman was of no interest to VN except for his name. The game was real, but the headline, according to baseball sources, was probably made up by VN, though he may have seen something along the lines of "Chapman homers to beat Yanks" and jotted it down for possible use somewhere. Of course, the Star, like other local papers, may have added its own headline to a wire story from AP or UPI. VN probably got his local news from the Ithaca Journal, a daily still being published, but interestingly the Cornell University student paper is the Cornell Sun, which was a morning daily during the Nabokovs' time in Ithaca and boasted that it was the only student-run newspaper in the country that was a member of the AP. Thus, a clever student editor may have invented the actual headline, even though the game happened long before the Nabokov's arrival. Star = Sun. Another interesting binary.
As a further bit of trivia, Chapman was a solid player of disreputable and racist character. His character (as manager of the Phillies) was portrayed in 42, the movie about Jackie Robinson's first season in the major leagues. Some discussion of him surfaced when the film opened:
From: Mary Ross <maryross.illustrator@GMAIL.COM>
To: NABOKV-L <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
Sent: Tue, Sep 19, 2017 8:24 pm
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] Hazel's message and other matters
Thanks, Sam, that clears a lot up.
I would be tempted to argue with you, except for the Chapman's Homer date- that sort of clinches it.
The "h wader thrown pot" makes sense too, although it strikes me as a bit inelegant. I like that it involves word-play. I was thinking that it only speaks to the plot level, but a case could be made that "thrown pot" could refer to the word-reversal of Hazel's, "pot-top", and therefore indicate the major motif of mirror images.
I agree with you that there are many themes, the "union of opposites" (coniunctio - sacred marriage of alchemy being a major one). This would actually also fall under the "ars longa" theme (the myth of Atalanta was called "The Marriage of Art and Nature"). The three themes you mentioned could also be seen as speaking to the same theme.
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