Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0020737, Thu, 16 Sep 2010 22:20:31 +0400

Forgot to mention that Sacher-Masoch's best-known novel was Venus in Furs (1870). Cf. "Both young ladies wore the very short and open evening gowns that Vass 'miraged' that season - in the phrase of that season: Ada, a gauzy black, Lucette, a lustrous cantharid green... Mixed metaphors and and double-talk became all three Veens, the children of Venus." While Ada and Lucette, two daughters of Venus, revel with Van in Ursus, their furs are "locked up in the vault or somewhere." (3.8)

A self-correction: "In the days of yore [a whale swallowed Jonah]" would better render the yawn in the Russian phrase "Vo vremya ono".

Alexey Sklyarenko

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