NABOKV-L post 0007291, Mon, 16 Dec 2002 20:33:20 -0800


----- Original Message -----
From: Walter Miale
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2002 8:10 PM

From: Walter Miale <>
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
Sent: Monday, December 16
Subject<:+] Why did the chicken cross the road?

>Editor's Assignment: "Why did the chicken cross the road?

"My dear sir, she was hardly a chicken. But be that as it may, there's no mystery about it. She was on her way to the letter box, poor thing. Of course if she hadn't gone, there would have been a calamity of an entirely different sort. An entirely different sort indeed." - Humbert Humbert

"It didn't know its alternatives, and it couldn't see the horse." - Luzhin

"Pada galu rode gals here the gull tous thi side the gala says tell your father not to----" - Aunt Maude

"By the merest quirk of fate, the chicken did indeed cross the road. But it was a different chicken." - Sebastian Knight

"We know that it crossed the road because life on the other side of the road was Nabokov's overarching theme. But re-re-re reading makes it clear that it was actually the chicken's ghost that crossed the road." - Brian Boyd

"Oh that's sidesplitting. Now would you mind making a u-turn? I'm starving." - Dolores

"That can be easily explained, though she hardly knew herself. To do otherwise was impossible. Can't you see? Oh if I had any germ of genius in me, if I been given a bit of creative power, I could have put into words the precise thoughts of the chicken, but as it is I can only improvise: Higgledy-piggledy, Out of my way you there! Birds of the future will stop for no cars.... Would a better life await her on "the other side"? Yes, and as the years roll on, with the lapse of time, before we know it, or after, as the case may be, life grows better; provided it comes to be what it already is for some and what it one day will be for all. She must go to Ryazin and open a coop." - Chernyshevsky

"An alluring riddle. I must rack my brains.
Not to grace my table, that's for sure,
under the cloying béchamel, with Gallo wine,
did she, over worn pavement aflutter streak
for the sake of wearisome yokels.
Ah Greta! Your dainty ways I remember well.
The simple curve of your neck, your dark thighs
and your white bosom that tempted so many -
these beguiled me not. But your immolodious voice,
and the innocent games we played!
Questions, intense cogitations,
and a flurry of head scratching. . .
but no answers. I'm probably senile.
But it seems at one time I knew. . . ."
- Plushkin