NABOKV-L post 0021811, Wed, 13 Jul 2011 08:59:48 -0300

Re: [Nabokov-L] Lucette-tete
Stan Kelly-Bootle: [ to: "from her screened bed, through a reek of embrocation and sweat, told him to refrain from turning Lucette's head by making of her a fairy-tale damsel in distress.(1.23)]
"When the context is playful-prose or mock-serious-poetry (a common case with Pushkin and Nabokov), we must expect idiomatic metaphors to coexist intentionally with literals. 'Turn' has one of the longest entries in most English dictionaries... Compare 'You turned your head' with 'You turned my head.' The latter could (rarely) be direct physical manipulation, or figurative... English relies more on context, and one side-effect is the very humour of the double-entendre. Heads can be turned both physically and metaphorically...Spinning, in the sense of rapid turning, can equally apply to real skin- and bone-heads, and to their dizzy emotional trappings."

JM: Nabokov's "to refrain from turning Lucette's head," indicates the danger that Van will capture Lucette by "dizzy emotional trappings," but it's not an example of "idiomatic metaphors coexisting with literals," nor of anything humorous: it's just a perfectly banal English sentence, right?

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