Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0020018, Wed, 12 May 2010 09:45:37 -0400

Re: [NABOKOV-L] Eliot and Double: Errata?
I was wondering where you got that translation. You are correct that Eliot
does not translate it himself in his footnotes to the poem. I assumed, from
your comments, that he had done so elsewhere. By the way, I found a
somewhat oblique reference to Baudelaire's line in VN's essay on Gogol's
"Overcoat." He says, regarding readers who want to learn Russian, "But I do
welcome the right sort--my brothers, my doubles" (LoRL 61).

Also, while reading the lecture on Anna Karenina, I came across VN's
description of Conrad as "a British novelist of Polish descent" (147). Some
will recall my puzzlement regarding the exact same construction in Pale
Fire, where Botkin is described as an "American scholar of Russian
descent." My confusion had to do with the word "descent," which usually
denotes the birthplace of one's ancestors, not oneself. But since we know
that Conrad grew up in Poland, it's clear that VN means Polish-born, and in
Botkin's case, Russian-born.


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