NABOKV-L post 0016563, Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:07:08 -0700

Re: children's rhymes
Well, there was another philospher named Adorno, who was friends with Mary Mccarthy, and would therefore have been a more likely allusion, assuming there was one, I don't pretend to understand this way of reading you propound (I in fact discovered Theodor Adorno looking for the one I had read about in connection with Mccarthy, and somehow never did get around to reading that real one). And no one reads everything, you know, not even Nabokov, and there are a few times, in the interviews Nabokov put together for Strong Opinions, in which Nabokov admits he hadn't read things and didn't know about seemingly obvious literary history (there is even once in one of his letters to Edmund Wilson, trashing Faulkner's Light In August, where I think he might only have been pretending to have read the whole book, because his complaints seem general rather than specific, and he doesn't complain about the dreadful Freudianism in it, but then that's just my own personal feeling, wouldn't
testify to it). For instance he doesn't seem to have read Wittgenstein, or even heard of him until the 1950s. (I say doesn't seem to have read him, because in the interview he does not say he eventually did--I haven't the time to chase down a few quotes to support my argument).

Alexey Sklyarenko <skylark05@MAIL.RU> wrote: I didn't read Adorno and don't know much about him. But Nabokov, who read everything, certainly did read him and had something (but what?) in his mind, when he gave this name to a character, a second-rate comedian. By the way, I notice that Adorno = tornado - t = no ardor - r = narodov (Russ., "of the nations") - v.

No, I didn't find the precise origin of the phrase 'gory Mary' (if that is what you ask). I think that VN (who must have had in mind the anagram: gory Mary = orgy + army) has coined it.
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