NABOKV-L post 0018332, Sun, 17 May 2009 12:35:56 -0700

Re: THOUGHTS: Nabokov's Van Veen as a distant relative of
Pushkin's Onegin and Lermontov's Pechorin
You'll have to forgive me, I'm actually very interested, when you say the two names of the characters have different etymologies, this confuses me a little. Do you mean that the word Luzhin itself has in the case of Dostoyevsky a different linguistic origin--as in Dostoyevsky plucked the word from one root of Russian and Nabokov got his from an entirely separate unrelated one, like from a whole different branch of the language, and which also means "puddle"? And how do you know that's true? I mean is it a contextual thing, like you can tell based on the way the name has been used in both books? Or do you just mean that Nabokov thought up his character without considering the one in Dostoyevsky or Gogol, though the word Luzhin itself derives from the same place and essentially means the same in the cases of both authors? I know that in English etymolgies are always iffy things and that one makes assertions about them with extreme caution, because the
language has so many overlays. Does Russian as well as have these parallel developments?  

--- On Fri, 5/15/09, Alexey Sklyarenko <skylark05@MAIL.RU> wrote:

From: Alexey Sklyarenko <skylark05@MAIL.RU>
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] THOUGHTS: Nabokov's Van Veen as a distant relative of Pushkin's Onegin and Lermontov's Pechorin
Date: Friday, May 15, 2009, 1:52 PM

When I said that you were mistaken, I meant that Nabokov's Luzhin is not even a distant relative, but merely a namesake, of the character in Crime and Punishment (who comes from a Volgan town). The name may be the same, but the etymology is different.
And, yes, puddles in Gogol, Nekrasov, Dostoevsky and Nabokov are all different.  

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