PS: I fogot to add the lines about Mascodagama’s ambiguous reversion: “The unpleasant colossus kept strutting up and down the stage for a while, then the strut changed to the restless walk of a caged madman, then he whirled, and to a clash of cymbals in the orchestra and a cry of terror…in the gallery, Mascodagama turned over in the air and stood on his head.” (ADA 1,30) to the incomplete quotes about “symbols in an orchal orchestra” (ADA 1,12)*.

A note: The apparent indication of “prowling blac spumas” to the feline (a puma) is partially misleading. A blend of bodily occurrences is alluded to (intestinal emissions, sperm, blood expelled from the lungs in TB), almost as if parodying ancient medical texts:

“For Aristotle, in fact, as for Pythagoras before him, the male semen came from the blood. According to Pythagoras, it was spuma sanguinis [“foam of the blood”]; according to Aristotle is was a spumosum excrementum [“foamy excretion”] that derived from the purest blood and was the result of a slow coction in the sperm ducts” (Cf. The Life Sciences in the Eighteenth-Century French Thought, Jacques Roger. Stanford University Press, 1997. Ed. Keith R. Benson, p.42.)


Here are the two paragraphs on the theme of “hammock and honey” :1. The hammock, a comfortable oblong nest, reticulated his naked body either under the weeping cedar that sprawled over one corner of a lawn, and granted a partial shelter in case of a shower, or, on safer nights, between two tulip trees (where a former summer guest, with an opera cloak over his clammy nightshirt, had awoken once because a stink bomb had burst among the instruments in the horsecart, and striking a match, Uncle Van had seen the bright blood blotching his pillow). (ADA 1,12); 2. His nights in the hammock (where that other poor youth had cursed his blood cough and sunk back into dreams of prowling black spumas and a crash of symbols in an orchal orchestra — as suggested to him by career physicians) were now haunted not so much by the agony of his desire for Ada, as by that meaningless space overhead, underhead, everywhere, the demon counterpart of divine time, tingling about him and through him, as it was to retingle — with a little more meaning fortunately — in the last nights of a life, which I do not regret, my love (ADA 1,12).


Notes about them in AdaOnline - 72.19-20had awoken once because a stink-bomb had burst among the instruments in the horsecart: Darkbloom: “horsecart: an old anagram. It leads here to a skit on Freudian dream charades (‘symbols in an orchal orchestra’).” Cf. 73.26-30 and nn. Both passages anticipate Van’s later work as a psychologist, especially his attack on Freudian and other symbolism in dreams, 363.03-364.07. MOTIF: dream.

73.26-30His nights in the hammock . . . . career physicians): See 72.19-20 and n. MOTIF: dream.

73.28dreams of prowling black spumas: pumas in the spume; Cancogni 150 suggests an etymological pun on the derivation of “prowl” from Old French parrouler, intensifier of rouler, “to roll.” In Ulysses on the eve of the action the minor character Haines has been raving in his sleep “about shooting a black panther.” (Chapter I lines 57, 61-62 in the Gabler edition). Cf. Ada 375.21-22: “We interweaved like serpents and sobbed like pumas”; 395.12: “ ‘You do the puma,’ he said. . . . ”
a crash of symbols in an orchal orchestra: symbols: pun on “cymbals”; orchal, “of testicles” (apparently Nabokov’s formation from the rare “orchic” and its source, the Greek orchis, “testicle”), perhaps under the influence of orca, “killer whale,” given the “prowling black spumas” in the previous phrase, since orcas are mostly black and do indeed prowl in the spume for seal lions in shallow water around the coasts of southern South America, also part of the habitat of the puma. Cf. 183.34: “to a clash of cymbals in the orchestra” (Van’s Mascodagama performances).


Btw: in another reference to a “stink bomb” there is a suggestion of a young man’s farts while bathing in a pool: “He always remembered, with — shudders of revulsion, the indoor pool of his prep school, the running noses, the pimpled chests, the chance contacts with odious male flesh, the suspicious bubble bursting like a small stink bomb, and especially, especially, the bland, sly, triumphant and absolutely revolting wretch who stood in shoulder-high water and secretly urinated (and, God, how he had beaten him up, though that Vere de Vere was three years older than he).” (ADA 1,32)






* - (as in my former posting): “
The latter alteration might be more complicated than just the sonorous association between “van” and “vin” (wine, in French), because Van chose to set down the word “cart” (instead of “carte”) thereby suggesting another vehicle (cart/van), one which now directs to an anagram that leads from horsecart (“a stink bomb had burst among the instruments in the horsecart.” 1,12)  to “a skit on Freudian dream charades[   ]”. What is VN’s malicious intention towards Freudian analysts? Is there a connection between Van and his uncle Ivan’s death by tuberculosis and his 18-year-old sister Marina’s grief?” - following Darkbloom’s: p.61. horsecart: an old anagram. It leads here to a skit on Freudian dream charades (‘symbols in an orchal orchestra’), p.62.





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