NABOKV-L post 0019072, Wed, 13 Jan 2010 04:16:13 -0200

Re: Powerful Kramler: Nabokov decoded ...
Sandy Klein sent:
Powerful Kramler: Nabokov decoded /posted by David Gorsline
Kinbote writes of dialling 11111 ... Australia adopted 000 in 1961. Use of 11111 for emergency purposes is undocumented, as far as my searches go.
Nabokov appears to have introduced two coinages in the book, one by Shade (”And that odd muse of mine,/My versipel, is with me everywhere,/In carrel and in car, and in my chair.” [ll. 946-948]) and one by Kinbote (”The Shades were out, said the cheeky ancillula, an obnoxious little fan who came to cook for them on Sundays and no doubt dreamt of getting the old poet to cuddle her some wifeless day.” [note to line 802]). Versipel is glossed as a back-formation from versipellous, “changeable; protean; having a form, nature or appearance that changes often.” Ancillula is from the Latin, and is a diminutive of ancilla, “handmaid.”

JM: Matt Roth has explored the "versipel" in connection to werewolves. The changeable aspect could relate to moths and butterflies, too, but they'd have to be "furry" at one time during their metamorphosis. The other word, "ancillula", has made an entrance in Bend Sinister and, with no diminutive, it was used in "A book entitled Lolita" (if I remember it correctly) in: "sex is the ancilla of art."

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