Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0027374, Wed, 3 May 2017 12:37:18 -0700

Re: Maurice Vermont & Marion Rumpelmeyer
On 4/17/17, Roth, Matthew <mroth@messiah.edu> wrote:
> Cursed with a succession of tedious faculty meetings, I decided to
> surreptitiously bide my time exploring one of Lolita’s little riddles. HH,
> in Chapter 13, mentions a playlet (The Emperor’s New Clothes) by Maurice
> Vermont and Marion Rumpelmeyer. Appel, in his notes, quotes VN as saying, “I
> vaguely but persistently feel that both Vermont and Rumpelmeyer exist!”
> before Appel idly speculates that VN culled the names from a phonebook. All
> this sounded fishy to me, so down the rabbit hole I went, only to emerge
> hours later with the following odds and ends:
> 1. Rumpelmayer’s (spelling noted) was a well-known chain of European
> tea-houses that catered particularly to Russians, with locations in
> Baden-Baden, Nice, Mentone, Monte Carlo, Paris, London, and elsewhere. It
> would later open a location in NYC (of which more later).
> https://restaurant-ingthroughhistory.com/tag/rumpelmayers/
> 2. In the opening of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway (1925), the titular
> character is preparing for a party and we are told that “Rumpelmayer’s men
> were coming” (presumably caterers).
> 3. Edmund Wilson published a story in 1927 called “The Men from
> Rumpelmayer’s”—presumably a reference to the Woolf passage. This was later
> collected in Wilson’s American Earthquake (1958) where Nabokov read it after
> Lolita was already published (see VN-Wilson Letters, p. 324).
> 4. The Rumpelmayer’s in New York (which closed in 1998) was located in
> the lobby of the Hotel St. Moritz.
> 5. In her biography, Shelley Winters says she once dined with Nabokov
> (post-Lolita) at this Rumpelmayer’s: “I forget how much money I got for this
> film, but at Rumpelmayer's with Nabokov, during the final discussions, I had
> a tuna-fish sandwich and a chocolate milkshake, my standard tranquilizer . .
> .”
> 6. St. Moritz is a famous resort in the Swiss Alps.
> 7. It is named after St. Maurice, the patron saint of weavers and
> dyers.
> 8. Maurice = Moritz in German
> 9. Vermont = Green Mountain
> Sorting through all of this, my best guess is that VN associated
> Rumpelmayer’s (Rumpelmeyer) with the Hotel St. Moritz (Maurice), a mountain
> resort (thus VerMONT). Furthermore, if he knew that St. Maurice was the
> patron saint of weavers and dyers, this could relate to The Emperor’s New
> Clothes. None of this seems significant in the least, yet I found this
> excavation nonetheless more enriching and interesting than the intricacies
> of our faculty pay scale and the office window covering policy.
> Cheers,
> Matt Roth

I'm writing this in response to :
M. Roth's recent contribution to the VN list.

Within the last week or so, i realized two things:

1. re: Bloom -- Meyer
In Hungarian, Virag (Flower) and Vilag (Light) are cognates.

2. Marion Rumpelmeyer now seems so linked to Molly-Nora,
it feels weird that I missed it before:

"my darling brown-arsed fuckbird"

I think that (at least) while writing U and FW, the following was
always on Joyce's mind:
Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis)
Branta == etym. Brown body ?
leucopsis == White-face

so Rumpelmeyer is Ass-white -- abbreviation of
brown-Arsed White-face


from Part 2, Chapt. 13 of Lolita :

>>> the accursed playlet belonged to the type of whimsy for
juvenile consumption, arranged and rearranged many times, such as
[Hansel and Gretel] by Richard Roe, or [The Sleeping Beauty] by
Dorothy Doe, or [The Emperor's New Clothes] by Maurice Vermont and
Marion Rumpelmeyer <<<

when I saw [Maurice Vermont and Marion Rumpelmeyer],
I had a few immediate reactions:

1. Marion, -- like Molly of (Joyce's) Ulysses !

2. maybe Maurice and Marion are like Bello and Bella of Ulysses.

Then, after pondering on the following, I've come to the
feeling that
[Vivian Darkbloom] must be one of the greatest
anagrammatic pseudonyms of all time.

and very possibly shows VN's admiration for Ulysses.

I wonder if others have already made comments
on [V. Darkbloom] and [M. Rumpelmeyer] etc.
that are similar to mine.
If you know of any, could you let me know?

V. Nabokov 's anagram [V. Darkbloom] refers to his wife Vera
note: Bloom (-bloom) is a Jewish surname, and
Darkbloom suggests (at least to me) Dark-gloom.
and also Fleurs du mal

M. Vermont and M. Rumpelmeyer -- like Mr. and Mrs. VN
French-speaking husband, and German-speaking, Jewish wife.

The name [Nabokov] suggests hazy, shady, pale sun
(according to the linked page, quoted below),

and the 2 variants suggest Dark-gloom and Light --
Meyer is > (from Hebrew Meir ‘enlightener’, a
derivative of Hebrew for ‘light’).

Bloom -- Meyer
In Hungarian, Virag (Flower) and Vilag (Light) are cognates.


The Russian name Nabokov means "leaning sideways" or "on one's side"
(perhaps the closest English approximation would be "Sideman").

It seems that this name itself contains the formula of his style and
conveys the magic of this bending, this slanting movement of all
things: not straight but skewed on its side like a ray of light
at sunset.


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