Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0020870, Tue, 12 Oct 2010 19:54:10 EDT

Re: [NABOKOV-L] A recurrent typo or a pun?
In a message dated 10/12/2010 6:29:30 PM Central Daylight Time,
jansy@AETERN.US writes:
> Eric Hyman: "One possibility is the "Litt." alludes to D. Litt., the
> usual, but not universal, abbreviation for Doctor Litterarum (Doctor of
> Letters, Doctor of Literature). The D. Litt. abbreviation is more common when it
> is an honorary degree. D. Litt, because it is Latin-based, is the more
> old-fashioned abbreviation and is the one VN was more likely to be accustomed
> to." [an item that is related to S K-B's "my Everyman's Pale Fire (1992, ll
> 376-7, page 46) has "English Lit", the common abbreviation for
> "Literature," although picky Chicago-Stylish copy editors would insist on adding a
> period/fullstop: "Lit."! The answer, of course, lies in VN's original m/s and
> the subsequent, final draft approved by him. We know VN was a super-careful
> prof-redder!..." in answer to JM's query: "Lines 376-377: was said in
> English Litt to be" ..."Pale Fire": Library of America Nabokov, p.578;
> Everyman's p.194.]
> JM: I dare insist that it is a persistent typo. Somewhere in "Strong
> Opinions" Nabokov notifies his readers about several mistypes he's spotted in
> "Pale Fire," but I haven't yet located this entry to see if he, himself,
> complains about "litt."
> Alexey Sklyarenko corrected an item, related to "circumnavigation" and
> Baron von Langsdorff. I should have spelled Yuri Lisyanki. He explains that
> the name Yuri is a form of Georgiy and corresponds to English George. As to
> the family name Lisyanski, it comes from lis, "(dog-)fox"."
> I was reminded of former discussions related to Webster's "foxes" (and
> Stephen Dedalus' dog in Ulysses), because I just came across a stuffed fox
> ("or coyote) reposing on a black trunk that lies on top of a bigger brown one
> in Shade's basement (Shade does write about "foxed files", premonitorily
> perhaps!).
I suspect that the typo is in subsequent editions. My Putnam's 1962 ed.
(second printing) says "English lit." Surely VN would have corrected this
himself if he'd intended "litt."

You're kidding, Eric, but you left out the open quotes when you said
"super-careful prof-redder."

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com

Manage subscription options: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/