NABOKV-L post 0018022, Sun, 22 Mar 2009 14:50:22 -0300

Re: de fencing lessons
jansymello wrote: Carolyn, Duchess de Fyler and Countess Fleur taken together reveal not only a "defilement" but a "deflowering". ... btw - CTaH wrote: "Prends garde a toi!" and I know you are familiar with operas (Bizet's "Carmen"), therefore ye must be aware of the double-entendre addressed to you, o brown-limbed Carmencita...
C. Kunin retorted: Jansy dear, I don't presume to understand more than half of your note which appears to be addressed to me (o brown-limbed carmencita!?) ...Though I hadn't noticed the [de] Fleur/De Fyler point that you unveil, this does fit in with my conjecture that Sybil might have been both the "wench" and the wife. And to continue with our de-fencing lesson .... When he wrote "prends garde a toi" -- perhaps our Scouse mathematician simply mistook a french "one" for a french "two"?p.s. Quel double entendre?

JM: Carolyn, you forgot the famous lines of the "habanera", in Bizet's Carmen ( by Prosper Merrimée?), an opera that is often alluded to in Lolita.
HH sometimes addresses Lolita as "his little Carmen".
(Do I remember it in particular because...? Well... that's something very mezzo-soprano.)

Excerpts: L'amour est un oiseau rebelle/ Que nul ne peut apprivoiser, Et c'est bien en vain qu'on l'appelle,/S'il lui convient de refuser
(Love is a rebellious bird that nothing can tame, it's in vain that you call it if it prefers to stay away) with the refrain after: Si tu ne m'aime pas, je t'aime!
Mais, si je t'aime, Si je t'aime, prend garde à toi! (If you don't love me, I love you, If I love you, keep guard of yourself )
Lover's vows and warnings!

Of course the "brown-limbed Carmencita" are not my words, but those addressed to a girl in Pasadeen some twenty-years younger than your scouse.

You mencioned "fencing". That's also something I remember as having been discussed in N-List. Flowerlet? Fleuret? I must check, if no one else does. The special name for a fencing instrument is similar to that. To flourish a fleuret, or something of that kind.

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