NABOKV-L post 0019156, Tue, 19 Jan 2010 20:05:46 +0100

Subject
Re: STANG--response to Lipon et al.
From
Date
Body
Dear Joseph,

Your good memory is exemplary. Many thanks for reminding me of this
instance. It is on page 58 of the first US edition of The Gift:

After dinner...they equipped themselves with the revolver... set off on a
streetcar...for the Grunewald where they planned to find a lonely spot and
shoot themselves one after the other...
Olya stood leaning against the rear railing, gripping the black stang with a
white, firm hand that had a prominent ring on its index finger...

Please note the Tammamian antithesis.

A. Bouazza.

_____

From: Vladimir Nabokov Forum [mailto:NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU] On Behalf
Of joseph Aisenberg
Sent: dinsdag 19 januari 2010 8:48
To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] STANG--response to Lipon et al.


I don't know if this has already been mentioned or not, but the word "stang"
was, I believe used in The Gift as well. I think it was in the second
chapter, whichever one it was in which Alexander Chernyshevski's
(homosexual?) son's suicide was constructed Fyodor. On the day of the
suicide, Alexander, and his two friends, a young German man and a morose
Russian woman, take a tram to the Grunewald forest. I'm fairly certain I
remember that one of the group was holding onto a "stang", which I had to
look up on my first reading of the book. Unfortunately I can't recall pages.
Perhaps Yuri Leving, creator of the wonderful The Gift Project can either
confirm or deny my memory here. If I'm right it seems very interesting that
N should have used the same word in two novels about in almost exactly the
same dramatic contexts: characters on grim journeys to commit suicide!

--- On Mon, 1/18/10, James Twiggs <jtwigzz@YAHOO.COM> wrote:




From: James Twiggs <jtwigzz@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] STANG--response to Lipon et al.
To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
Date: Monday, January 18, 2010, 12:33 PM


Gary Lipon wrote:


> ...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. I would not take up more space
over what may seem a trivial matter if I didn't think it involves a larger
principle. Here are the lines in question:




"I think," she said,
"I'll get off here." "It's only Lochanhead."
"Yes, that's okay." Gripping the stang, she peered
At ghostly trees. Bus stopped. Bus disappeared.460




Shade is here putting himself in the place of Hazel, imagining her last
moments alive. 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. Seldom if ever in this
country, I'd wager, has a natural-born, apple-pie American, in the course of
his/her ordinary conversation, referred to a pole in a bus as a stang. It is
therefore out of character for Shade to use the word in this way. I would
expect VN to be as careful about this--about being true to his
characters--as he was in writing dialogue for Lolita. 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.
As for defamiliarization, even that all-too-handy concept requires, if it's
to be effective, some staging, something in the way of a suitable context.




SKB's view is more interesting. According to him, VN uses the word as part
of showing what a lousy poet Shade is. Although I'm sympathetic to that
view, I consider "stang" to be so outrageously inappropriate as to be
unconvincing even as an example of Shade's frequent mediocrity. It's a
clunker of a word, all right, but a clunker that VN, not Shade, must claim
the credit for.




Incidentally, Stan, it's good to have you back after such a long absence.




Jim Twiggs









_____




Search the archive
<http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&HL=en>
Contact the Editors Visit "Nabokov Online Journal"
<http://www.nabokovonline.com>
Visit Zembla <http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm> View
Nabokv-L Policies <http://web.utk.edu/%7Esblackwe/EDNote.htm> Manage
subscription options <http://listserv.ucsb.edu/>

All private editorial communications, without exception, are read by both
co-editors.

Search the archive
<http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&HL=en>
Contact the <mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu> Editors
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal" <http://www.nabokovonline.com>
Visit <http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm> Zembla View
Nabokv-L <http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm> Policies Manage
subscription <http://listserv.ucsb.edu/> options

All private editorial communications, without exception, are read by both
co-editors.


Search archive with Google:
http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&HL=en

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com

Manage subscription options: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/