NABOKV-L post 0019160, Tue, 19 Jan 2010 19:16:37 -0200

Subject
Re: STANG--response to Lipon et al.
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Gary Lipon:...how did VN come to find stang...

Victor Fet: From his goalkeeping youth. So far nobody noticed that there is a RUSSIAN "shtanga" (derived from 'der Stange'), which, among a number of exotic terms (such as barbell) means a goalpost - or any metal post (either vertical or horizontal).The term appears, for example, in "Drugie berega" (12.3) in football context ("prislonivshis k levoi shtange vorot"); the same in "Speak, memory" (13.4): ("leant my back against the left goalpost").When the football hits it, the Russian soccer fans scream: "SHTANGA!!"

Joseph Aisenberg:: ...the word "stang" was, I believe used in The Gift as well. I think it was in the second chapter... If I'm right it seems very interesting that N should have used the same word in two novels about in almost exactly the same dramatic contexts: characters on grim journeys to commit suicide!

Abdel Bouazza: Your good memory is exemplary. Many thanks for reminding me of this instance. It is on page 58 of the first US edition of The Gift: "After dinner...they equipped themselves with the revolver... set off on a streetcar...for the Grunewald where they planned to find a lonely spot and shoot themselves one after the other...Olya stood leaning against the rear railing, gripping the black stang with a white, firm hand that had a prominent ring on its index finger..." Please note the Tammamian antithesis.

Alexey Sklyarenko: A.B, Olya stood leaning against the rear railing, gripping the black stang with a white, firm hand that had a prominent ring on its index finger...It remains to be said that Russian word in Dar is shtanga:Оля, опершись спиной о задний борт и держась за чёрную штангу белой, крепкой рукой с большим перстнем на указательном пальце...

JM: My heart began to beat faster while following how the List, when working together, completed the full circle in relation to PF and "stang," with a link through various other works by VN towards a gripping finale. Q.E.D - Beautiful!!!!! Congs to everyone involved.

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