CK: But when reading Nabokov I find it useful  to wear a pair of skeptical spectacles. Some game is usually afoot.
A.S:There is indeed a game in Ada, but it is not as cruel as you believe it to be. It's more like Flavita (Russian Scrabble) played in Ada by Van, Ada and Lucette. Btw., the Flavita set was given to Marina's children by Baron Klim Avidov. One doesn't have to wear glasses to recognize in him the man on your photo.
JM: This anagram is not exempt of mysteries. Wasn't the Baron also "Jupiter Olorinus," fond of  dark-haired girls with swan-like necks? His seduction of Leda became a strangely modernized mural at the Three Swans's hotel. That an author's scrabbled name represents the provider of the Flavita game makes sense. The cruel part derives from this metamorphing godhead's evil-doings  ( cf. Montparnasse, Leda, that other cupbearer, not Hebe, and all those neoclassical references structuring or infiltrating French, German and English poems  - or in modern T.S.Eliot, Stevens. Shade and writer Wilson's "Hecate"?*)
Carolyn, what about exploring why demonic Ada protected the Vinelanders, Dorothy and her philistine husband, until their bitter end?

* - a quick curiosity from VN&EW letters, on page 311: "The word 'portal' is rather dreadfully associated in my mind (which has always contained more associations than thoughts) with certain euphemism in your Hecate" (May 3,1953). Any suggestion concerning this "euphemism"? 
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