pointed out that “old/cold” was a rare, sad rhyming pair that also rhymed in German: “alt/kalt.” Wonder if VN had this added nuance of “alt-itude” brooding in some recess of his fertile mind?
Dear Stan,
"Delvig* disliked mystical poetry. He used to say: the nearer to heaven, the colder [it/one is getting]" (Pushkin, "Table-talk," 1835). If I'm not mistaken, Khodasevich speaks of the "Delvig law" in his book on Derzhavin.
You may know that, in Russian, kholodnyi (cold) rhymes with golodnyi (hungry). See Nekrasov and Nabokov's Despair (Ardalion's words).
*Baron Anton Delvig (1798-1831), a Russian poet, Pushkin's best friend at the lyceum and later.
Search the archive Contact the Editors Visit "Nabokov Online Journal"
Visit Zembla View Nabokv-L Policies Manage subscription options

All private editorial communications, without exception, are read by both co-editors.