Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0020889, Mon, 18 Oct 2010 18:51:35 -0200

Re: Vair and sizïy, columbine, sha de: what is the shade of Gradus greyness?

Alexey Sklyarenko: In Russian we call gray eyes serye glaza. The epithet sizyi (blue-gray, dove-colored) is hardly ever used to describe the eye iris (only the unshaven cheeks can be sizye). I always imagined Lolita's eyes as dymchato-serye (hazy-gray). See also A. Dolinin's "A Note on the Last Name of Dolores Haze alias Lolita" in The Nabokovian #50. Cinderella's Russian name is Zolushka (from zola, ashes, plus the diminutive suffix). Btw., as a child I was sure it came from zoloto (gold).Yes, Gradus is a jolly Naburlesque name. The Russian noun gradus has more meanings than its English homograph and is even used idiomatically. Btw., gradusnik is Russian for "thermometer".Speaking of proper names, there is no "Prof. Lapin" in ADA. There are Dr Lapiner and Professor Lagosse.

JM: Once again, thanks for the explanation, Alexey.
Children are the true alchemists (ash/lead/gold) and childhood memoirs, such as Nabokov's, are a fountain of eternal youth!
btw: Loved the coinage of "Naburlesque."
Sorry for mentioning improper names, my memory is treacherous and I hadn't returned to "Ada" to check them..

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