NABOKV-L post 0023464, Fri, 16 Nov 2012 18:15:00 -0500

Re: Pnin's necktie
I always understoond "goon" to refer to a gangster, hence Pnin was wearing
the sort of flashy, tasteless neckware favored by underworld fashionistos...

On Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 11:00 PM, Don Johnson <> wrote:

> On page 1 of PNIN) we read ”His sloppy socks were of scarlet wool
> with lilac lozenges; his conservative black Oxfords had cost him about as
> much as all the rest of his clothing (flamboyant *goon* *tie* included)
> The phrase is in the second paragraph of VN’s PNIN. I trust every
> heavy-weight VN aficionado has pondered the meaning (and significance, if
> any) of
> Pnin’s “flamboyant goon tie.” There is a line of clothing apparel (*Cornell
> Big Red Ties) *for school sports fans that at one time (but apparently
> no longer) included red neckties. Several, if not all, Cornell sports
> teams are called “Big Red” and their uniforms are red.
> The term “goon” remains obscure but was apparently a slang term with the
> definition “(*ice hockey, pejorative*) An enforcer or fighter”
> {presumably applied to the team Cornell was playing against).
> Nabokovian SCHOLARSHIPmarches on!
> D. Barton Johnson
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