NABOKV-L post 0017717, Thu, 19 Feb 2009 17:17:56 -0300

Re: [NABOKV-L] THOUGHTS re: Botkin, V.AS: The phrase seksual'nyi levsha ("a sexually left-handed person", in the sense "a homosexual") occurs in Nabokov's Soglyadatay ("The Eye", 1930). A character refers thus of the narrator, a Russian emigre named Smurov.
SKB: Meanwhile, the slur on kithogues typified by Nabokov's "sexually left-handed" shows no sign of disappearing.

JM: In "Pale Fire" we find (Shade, lines 911-914): I'm in the class of fussy bimanists./ As a discreet ephebe in tights assists / A female in an acrobatic dance,/ My left hand helps, and holds, and shifts its stance.
If I got the point, Shade's left hand (an "ephebe") apparently sustains or follows his right hand (a female in acrobatic dance). Soon afterwards we reach line 920 with Kinbote's comments on the two Alfreds and Shade's Gillette. The same ambidextrous game happens when Oswin Bretwit and Gradus meet: Kinbote offers an echo of this echo...

Perhaps now we can re-evaluate another "reversal" concerning Shade's lines on a torquated beauty and "reading from left to right in winter's code":
"Whose spurred feet have crossed/ From left to right the blank page of the road? / Reading from left to right in winter's code:.../ Was he in Sherlock Holmes, the fellow whose/ Tracks pointed back when he reversed his shoes?"

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