NABOKV-L post 0015674, Wed, 14 Nov 2007 18:41:47 -0200

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Re: SIGHTING: VN and former student Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
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SES wrote: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first woman to serve as a judge on the U.S. Supreme Court, recently explained in an interview with Legal Times that she took a class at Cornell with VN and that his teaching has influenced her writing of legal opinions. Attached, R.B. Ginsburg on VN: "She remembers his advice on good writing: "'Have the reader ready for what you're going to say.' He gave an example of why he liked the English language. He said, think of French
(which was his first language): If you say 'white horse' in French, it's 'cheval blanc.' And you immediately hear 'horse' and you're thinking 'brown.' But in English it's 'white horse,' so you don't see a brown horse and have to displace it. He was big on the written word and on making word pictures."

JM: What an interesting example about VN's teaching influences and on how attributes in English and French may open to us different word pictures about white or brown horses.
My first question was: "how would this sentence come out in VN's native Russian?" and how would a Russian reader be advised about what to expect or what will be refused.

Next I remembered the wonderful allusive power of the English " a flowerless garden" ( you get the flowers first, then they are denied to you in your garden) and tried to figure it in French ( would they say "un jardin sans fleurs"? ) and wondered about how this would be translated in Russian, preferrably in a sentence written by VN.

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