NABOKV-L post 0019069, Tue, 12 Jan 2010 02:46:00 -0200

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Re: LATH and Mayakovsky: addendum
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Phil.Howerton [ I remember an episode (no page & no precise information right now) VN described to Edmund Wilson, related to the president of a segregated college] The college. I believe, was Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina.

JM: Thank you! Following your indication I searched BBoyd's AY ( Coker College,SC and Spelman in Atlanta). The approximate dates led me to "Dear Bunny-dear Volodya," page 97, when VN wrote to Wilson ( November 24,1942) about a "Celebrated Negro scholar and organizer... told me that when he went to England he was listed as a "Colonel" on the Channel boat, because his name bore the addition "Col." on his passport."

Miscellany: While perusing AY, I came across an information which interested me because of my recent vacations - when I was chairlifted and heart-lifted towards a wondrous wild waterfall over a field strewn with blue hydrangeas. In AY(467) Brian Boyd describes* how Nabokov, in high summer "would often start off on a cable car or his favorite, a chairlift, precursor of Ada's jikkers (magic carpets)".
I hadn't realized that I'd been jikkering!

Also in B.Boyd's AY (464), I learned that there had been moves "to have Roger Vadim direct 'Laughter in the Dark', in the hope that Brigitte Bardot would star." Might the choice for the name Vadim, in LATH, carry an added association to this Roger V.? VN's relationship to BB (Brigitte, I mean) and Vadim didn't develop further.

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*BB quotes VN: "I find enchanting and dreamy in the best sense of the word to glide in the morning sun from valley to timberline in that magic seat, and watch from above myh own shadow - with the ghost of a butterfly net in the ghost of a fist - as it keeps gently ascending in sitting profile along the flowery slope below, among dancing Ringlets and skimming Fritillaries."

From ADA I (ch.6 and 13): "Rolled up in its case was an old ‘jikker’ or skimmer, a blue magic rug with Arabian designs...Because of the many collisions, collapses and other accidents, especially numerous in sunset skies over idyllic fields, jikkers were banned by the air patrol; but four years later Van ...bribed a local mechanic to clean the thing...and many a summer day would they spend, his Ada and he, hanging over grove and river or gliding at a safe ten-foot altitude above surfaces of roads or roofs[...] The pleasure of suddenly discovering the right knack of topsy turvy locomotion was rather like learning to man... those delightful gliders called Magicarpets (or ‘jikkers’) that were given a boy on his twelfth birthday...what a breathtaking long neural caress when one became airborne..."

btw: is it my impression or there is a mnemonic slip in the lines above when 18 year-old Van glides with Ada in the summer? (I've been equally skimming over the texts, so I'm not sure about the chronologies).

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