NABOKV-L post 0019397, Thu, 11 Feb 2010 23:35:51 -0200

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Re: golova, Golovin, Veen
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V. Fet: there is a precious comical Greek/Russian pseudohomophony, holo- /golo-, Greek ‘h’ (like German) again is Russian ‘g’, bringing in discussion of weird Russian transliterations (Gomer, Gamlet, Golokost), always relevant to VN visual interlinguistics.
V.Mylnikov: "letter H comes from the Ancient Greek and was formed by puttings together (густое и тонкое придыхания) that would give an indication how should initial E be pronounced - say, Xелен или Гелен."

JM: Summing up, the letter H in Russian was borrowed from the Greek as an indicator for how an initial E should be pronounced and it will emerge as a Russian "g" in transliterations (in caps?), described by Victor Fet as being relevant to VN's interlinguistics.

Would Nabokov have made any particular commentary about the resulting transliterations of the "H", or to its signalling services when, for example, he composed his short-story "Scenes from the Life of a Double Monster," which would become a kind of metaphorical "H" story ( should the brief reference to "the aitch" and the visual image of two conjoined bodies, and the two "I'', be enough)?
In this short-story, the letter "H" might be considered a visual rendering of the siamese twins, Lloyd and Floyd, who'd been joined together by a common navel. We read in it that one day, while they "sat quietly munching dried apricots under a whitewashed wall...suddenly, the aitch would see an eye, the Roman two a one, the scissors a knife," and that both "components of the double series were healthy, handsome little components," whereas each "was eminently normal, but together they formed a monster" ...


Btw: How did these two healthy twins manage to survive inside their mother's womb since they, apparently, were not linked to her placenta and bloodstream? Their mutual connection (their "duplexity"!) resulted from a flexible and easily-cut "band of union," designated as "the navel", a navel which united their bodies in such a way that they could assume, by this band's flexibility, "reciprocally a more or less lateral position."
Doesn't this fact indicate a shared "umbelical chord"* and, as such, an "impossibility"?
I would be enormously grateful if anyone helped me to picture Floyd and Lloyd and their common "navel."

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* - Etymology: Middle English, from Old English nafela; akin to Old High German nabalo navel, Latin umbilicus, Greek omphalos
Date: before 12th century 1 : a depression in the middle of the abdomen that marks the point of former attachment of the umbilical cord or yolk stalk; 2 : the central point: middle ( Britannica.com )

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