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"Soleil Vert" in Lolita

Submitted by sarra_ben_dhia on Sat, 05/28/2022 - 11:07

Hello ! I have a question concerning the French perfume called "Soleil Vert", why this name in particular? I feel like it could be an allusion to something but I can't quite grasp it. It is mentioned in Humbert's poem and in another passage, referred to as "French perfume". 

 

My Dolly, my folly!

Her eyes were vair,

And never closed when I kissed her.

Know an old perfume called Soleil Vert?

Are you from Paris, mister?

 

and 

 

"bas" and "bot" in Lolita

Submitted by sarra_ben_dhia on Sat, 05/21/2022 - 11:13

I am referring to this past note https://thenabokovian.org/node/813

In this quote from Lolita, Humbert makes a metalinguistic commentary on the pronunciation of "bas" by Monique, the Parisian prostitute with whom he had had relations in his youth. Monique is ecstatic to be able to buy stockings with the money received by Humbert. It's said she pronounces "bas" as "bot".

Belkin/Botkin?

Submitted by MARYROSS on Fri, 03/11/2022 - 15:41

Belkin/Botkin?

 

 

After much acclaim as a poet, Pushkin apparently wanted to descend from Parnassus and publish some prose stories under a pseudonym, “Belkin,” a name which strikes me as curiously similar to “Botkin”.

I read the first of the “Tales of Belkin, ” “The history of Goriukhino,” and found a number of likenesses of Belkin to Kinbote in Pale Fire:

 

RESEARCH: Can you read this?

Submitted by matthew_roth on Wed, 01/19/2022 - 14:47

Friends,

I am working on a research project and would like to know what VN (or someone) has written in the margin on the first notecard of the manuscript of the PF poem. A picture of the card is included in Boyd's VNAY, if you want to see for yourself, but I have attached a blown up image. The second word is clearly "canto" but the rest I can't read. Is it Russian? Any help you can give me would be much appreciated.

Matt Roth

PALE FIRE allusion to Salinger's Franny and Zooey

Submitted by MARYROSS on Mon, 11/29/2021 - 14:59

     Nabokov’s Pale Fire is replete with allusions to literary greats (and some not-so-greats), as is well known. One allusion that I believe has not been mentioned suggests J. D. Salinger. Salinger was actually one of the few of his contemporaries that Nabokov approved of. They each had a story in The New Yorker’s anthology of the 55 best short stories published from 1940-1950.

PALE FIRE allusion to Salinger's Franny and Zooey

Submitted by MARYROSS on Mon, 11/29/2021 - 14:48

     Nabokov’s Pale Fire is replete with allusions to literary greats (and some not-so-greats), as is well known. One allusion that I believe has not been mentioned suggests J. D. Salinger. Salinger was actually one of the few of his contemporaries that Nabokov approved of. They each had a story in The New Yorker’s anthology of the 55 best short stories published from 1940-1950.

Nabokov's 'Angels' poetry sequence

Submitted by anoushka_alexa… on Fri, 10/22/2021 - 04:49

Hello, I was wondering if anyone had access to, or could let me know where to find, Nabokov's 'Angels' poetry sequence (a set of 9 poems written in 1918 (?). I can't easily find a reference to them anywhere (including Boyd's the Russian Years) so would appreciate any guidance. I worry they are tucked away in an archive somewhere!  I am looking at Nabokov's use of biblical language (and specifically the Wandering Jew) as influenced by Symbolists such as Maximilian Voloshin. 

Thanks :)
Anoushka

(you can email me directly at a.alexander-rose@soton.ac.uk)