NABOKV-L post 0017644, Sun, 1 Feb 2009 00:44:52 -0200

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Re: More comments on Boyd's Annotations: Mascodagama
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Re: [NABOKV-L] More comments on Boyd's Annotations: MascodagamaStan K-Bootle [speaking of word-plays and MONDEGREENS...Brian Boyd's wonderful analysis (Verse & Versions) of Pushkin's Ya Vas Lyubil [...] I was reminded of the YELLOW-BLUE VASE pun (Ya lyublyu Vas) in Ada.[...] Can any woman TRUST these smooth-talking, male-chauvinist, lying-bastard poets? One thinks of Byron, Pushkin, and esp. his creation Onegin!]

JM: V.Darkbloom takes the trouble to explain: "p.148. Yellow-blue Vass: the phrase is consonant with ya lyublyu vas, ('I love you' in Russian)."
And what's there to clarify about such an amatory intimation on p.148? "As he approached from a side lawn, he saw a scene out of some new life being rehearsed for an unknown picture, without him, not for him[...] Three young ladies in yellow-blue Vass frocks [...] Ada's new long figure was profiled in black - the black of her smart silk dress with no sleeves, no ornaments, no memories."
Really, what's in this description of Vass outfits if not, simply, a reference to Pushkin and his bungled loves? Are we to deduce Van's love for Ada ,here, by how he registered it in his old-age diary?

Probably Van's and our own passionate mondegreenings derive from confusing unexpendable words and those who write them or mixing up
"green sleeves" and "green leaves", actions and intentions. As in the scene just described, which starts with Van keeping a diamond necklace in his pocket but not the sleeveless heedless Ada. We'll soon learn how the necklace will be scattered like "a rivière de diamants", as in Mlle Ida's nickname and in Maupassant's novel, due to another kind of tragic confusion between what is fake and what is true.

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