NABOKV-L post 0019096, Fri, 15 Jan 2010 17:04:08 -0200

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Re: Wer ist Iris?
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Clayton Smith [Translated,“acht” would have a meaning akin to the authoritative command, “Pay attention!” ]
Dieter Zimmer: I am sorry to say that in German "acht" is just "eight" and not the imperative form of "achten" (to respect, to pay attention), not even coloquially. The correct imperative of "achten" would be "achte", "achtet" or "achten Sie". As a noun, "die Acht" survives only in old idioms like "in Acht und Bann tun" (to ostracize). "Acht" is an albeit very rare German surname. Currently there is no "Iris Acht" in the telephone directory.
Stan Kelly-Bootle: Browsing MySpace (or, rather, HerSpace) reveals an Iris Acht with 515 friends! She lists her favourite authors as Nobokov [sic], Camus, Kafka, Sun Tsu, Charles Bukowski, W.Burroughs, Douglas Adams, E.A.Poe, Lautreamont, Heracletus [sic], Oscar Wilde, Andre Bretton [sic], Marcel Proust, Charles Baudelair [sic]
Steve Blackwell: A very, very minor footnote in this discussion, and probably fanciful-- but, a couple of years ago I came across the name of a little-known but significant German psychologist, Narziss Ach, whose name struck me as oddly similar to Iris Acht's (flower + Ach)...his research seems to have had some mild relevance to VN's thought, but I have not been able to determine whether in fact VN had heard of him...

JM: VN could have had Nietzsche's Also Sprach Zaratustra in the back of his mind, too. The particular lines below are more widely known because they've been set to music by various composers, one of them Gustav Mahler.
"Gib acht" could be translated as "pay attention," I suppose?

O Mensch! Gib acht!
Was spricht, die tiefe Mitternacht?
"Ich schlief, ich schlief -,
Aus tiefem Traum bin ich erwacht: -
Die Welt ist tief,
Und tiefer als der Tag gedacht.
Tief ist ihr Weh -,
Lust - tiefer noch als Herzeleid:
Weh spricht: Vergeh!
Doch alle Lust will Ewigkeit -,
- Will tiefe, tiefe Ewigkeit!"


----- Original Message -----
From: Dieter E. Zimmer
To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
Sent: Friday, January 15, 2010 6:15 AM
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] Wer ist Iris?


I am sorry to say that in German "acht" is just "eight" and not the imperative form of "achten" (to respect, to pay attention), not even coloquially. The correct imperative of "achten" would be "achte", "achtet" or "achten Sie". As a noun, "die Acht" survives only in old idioms like "in Acht und Bann tun" (to ostracize). "Acht" is an albeit very rare German surname. Currently there is no "Iris Acht" in the telephone directory.

Dieter Zimmer, Berlin
----- Original Message -----
From: Carolyn Kunin
To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2010 5:20 PM
Subject: [NABOKV-L] Wer ist Iris?


Given Nabokov’s knowledge of German and penchant for linguistic games, there can be little doubt that he is telling astute readers in no uncertain terms to look at this passage, and specifically Iris Acht, very carefully."




Dear Mr Smith,


Please don't forget the original Iris Acht - - an unfortunate actress who dies young in a wild novel, the victim of a gray villain.


Carolyn Kunin
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