NABOKV-L post 0021938, Sat, 13 Aug 2011 20:37:56 +0200

Re: Golliwogs
In this case it is also of interest to note what Nabokov writes in *Pale
Fire*: *Shade said that more than anything on earth he loathed Vulgarity and
Brutality, and that one found these two ideally united in racial prejudice.
He said, that as a man of letters, he could not help preferring 'is a Jew'
to is 'Jewish' and 'is a Negro' to 'is colored' ; but immediately added
that this way of alluding to two kinds of bias in one breath was a good
example of careless, or demagogic, lumping.*.etc*.*
I am aware of seeming to defend Nabokov, but - to be quite honest - I don't
like this (search for) political correctness at all; I hate it as much as I
do preventing being political correct and measuring a writer, living or
dead, by changing standards of etiquettes ('cause that's what it is). It
just seems that Nabokov was aware of it.


Hafid Bouazza * *

2011/8/13 Stan LIOB <>

> It’s vital to know that *Goll[i/y]wog* (the doll and the name) is
> considered racist to many Anglophones. And *Wog *even more so, in the same
> taboo class as the N-word. Context: child-speak doggy-woggy
> Of course PC (Politically Correct) fashions vary confusedly over space,
> time and languages. Even sensitive novelists like Nabokov can be caught
> retrospectively ‘out-of-phase,’ as it were. He regularly uses *Negro*where
> *Black* or *African-American* have become more ‘acceptable.’ Blacks
> themselves have long argued over these changing usages. See, e.g., Black
> linguist John McWhorter’s comments at
> Growing up in 1930s UK, we found the Golliwog black doll rather cute and
> totally inoffensive. Indeed, until 2002 the Golliwog logo label appeared on
> the jars of Robinson’s most popular jams and marmalades. The current trend
> is that both the name and doll are out of fashion, being widely considered
> as distasteful stereotypes on a par with blacked-up minstrels.
> Stan Kelly-Bootle.
> On 13/08/2011 04:12, "Jansy" <jansy@AETERN.US> wrote:
> *Didier Machu*: Yes, there are traces of Golliwog in Camera Obscura /
> Laughter in the Dark. Margot twice calls Albinus the British
> edition but in the American edition (100, 180) woggy is substituted....
> *JM*: It would be nice if I were able to retribute DMachu's comprehensive
> information in connection to the golliwoggs, but this kind of doll, or of
> adventure-stories for children is very unfamiliar to me. I would never have
> guessed its presence in "Laughter in the Dark" nor in "KQKn," with the
> unexpected literary pranks it entails.
> I'll check it in the Brazilian-Portuguese edition to find out how the
> translators cope with it or, at least, how they render the "doggy-woggy"
> alusion.
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