NABOKV-L post 0019144, Mon, 18 Jan 2010 22:32:04 -0200

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Re: STANG--response to Lipon et al.
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JM: Stang, even to my foreign ears, is "a clunker of a word". It is uncanny and aggressive. And I don't consider Shade as someone who could put himself in the place of Hazel at any time, inspite of his grief (he was grieving for himself, I think. Unlike HH in the last chapters when he seems to genuine in his regret to have deprived Lolita from her childhood). Perhaps "stang" is not really out of character because its noise brings to us Shade's suppressed anger.

Jim, you confused me in relation to the orientation of the pole ( "A goal post is not a pole, or a handrail..." ): a goal stang may be both horizontal or vertical, no? I understand it is applicable to the entire contraption that holds the net.

Alexey, thank you for the information related to larvae, to lyarva in Russian folklore and for clarifying the transformation of Krolik into Lapin. Now, another question: why this emphasis on rabbits? Or is it the other way round, rabbits as a disguise for another more revealing wordplay?

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excerpts:
Jim Twiggs (to sequence: how did VN come to find stang/ From his goalkeeping youth/ I think this pretty much puts the issue to rest...) "For Gary, perhaps, but certainly not for me...it involves a larger principle...Shade is here putting himself in the place of Hazel...The word needed where “stang” appears is one that would come naturally to Shade and, for fullest effect, to Hazel as well. “Stang” itself, I hope we’re all agreed, is not such a word ( a pole in a bus)...It is therefore out of character for Shade to use the word in this way. I would expect VN to be ...careful about this...For this reason I’m not convinced by A. Bouzza’s argument or by the argument about the goal post. A goal post is not a pole (or a handrail) in an American bus, period...SKB’s view is more interesting...showing what a lousy poet Shade is. It’s a clunker of a word, all right, but a clunker that VN, not Shade, must claim the credit for."
A.Sklyarenko: Krolik is Russian for "rabbit" / Larva = lavra ("big monastery")/ Larvy (larvae) = lavry ("laurels")
The lavry/larvy wordplay occurs in "Drugie berega" (Russian title of Speak, Memory), Chapter Six. Besides, in Slavic myths, lyarva (it also comes from larva, Latin for "mask") is female evil spirit. The woman, whose body it chooses to live in, becomes a whore. Lyarva is also one of several vulgar words meaning "whore."

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