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Renaming "Ostranennie" in English

Submitted by carolyn_kunin on Sun, 08/02/2020 - 16:49

Dear All,

I've started reading an essay by Carlo Ginsburg in his book "Wooden Eyes" (a reference to Pinocchio, which does literally mean wooden eye) entitled "Making it Strange; the pre-history of a literary device." And it got me to thinking ... I have always felt uncomfortable with the English translations of "ostranennie" into English. "Making it strange" is awkward, barely English at all. So I sat down at the computer and started exploring possible alternatives. And I came up with the following short list:

Reference to "(picnic, lightning)" in Ada

Submitted by Alain Champlain on Sat, 06/27/2020 - 06:10

From Ada, part 1, chapter 6:

Alonso, a tiny wizened man in a double-breasted tuxedo, spoke only Spanish, while the sum of Spanish words his hosts knew scarcely exceeded half a dozen. Van had canastilla (a little basket), and nubarrones (thunderclouds), which both came from an en regard translation of a lovely Spanish poem in one of his schoolbooks.

The parenthetical '(a little basket)' and '(thunderclouds)' are, to my eye, a reference to the famous '(picnic, lightning)' in Lolita:

WIP “Archetype, Alchemy, & Allegory: The Jungian Substrate of Nabokov’s PALE FIRE”

Submitted by MARYROSS on Tue, 06/23/2020 - 16:46

     For several years now I have been posting on this site various ideas I have about a Jungian substrate to PALE FIRE. I have now consolidated and formulated three main parts of my  WIP “Archetype, Alchemy, & Allegory: The Jungian Substrate of Nabokov’s PALE FIRE” which I’ve uploaded to Cambridge Engage, a new site for works-in-progress. These also can be viewed on

Some thoughts on Gennady Barabtarlo 's "See Under Sebastian"

Submitted by MARYROSS on Wed, 05/27/2020 - 20:19

I would like to say how much I appreciate the new feature, “Classics From the Nabokovian.” It’s hard to be “up” on everything that’s been written on Nabokov, even though we have this great resource here. I really enjoyed   Gennady Barabtarlo's "See under Sebastian," The Nabokovian 1990.24: 24-28.



Submitted by j_j_bermudez on Thu, 05/14/2020 - 12:59

Could the elusive Alamillo in "Time and Ebb" be the mexican general Luis Alamillo Flores, born in 1904? Not that he seems a match of Hitler, but being a military attache in Washington DC, Paris and the Pacific, he could be well known by Nabokov at the time of writing this tale.

Funny to think of that "98 war" too...


Maud Bodkin& Northrop Frye in PF

Submitted by MARYROSS on Tue, 04/07/2020 - 17:59

I posted the other day about how I think Northrop Frye’s  Jungian based “Archetypal Literary Criticism” may actually be more the target of VN’s parody in Pale Fire than Jung himself.


I’ve gone back into the Listserve archives and found some interesting notes on Maud Bodkin, who’s preceded Frye with Jungian based literary criticism.


Gennady Barabtarlo wrote in 1998 (!):