NABOKV-L post 0019172, Wed, 20 Jan 2010 10:58:26 -0800

Subject
Re: DN: "Stang" and "Beaver" reminiscences
Date
Body
Dmitri Nabokov wrote:

"A similar game, I am told, is played in present-day Russia using sightings of cats or automobiles of an agreed-upon color."
 
During the Soviet times - kids were spotting Ambulances and then you have to catch the its red cross into your hand and make a fist and then  you need to open your fist (with the red cross inside, presumably) and let it go to a person who is wearing glasses (pointing to his or hers glasses).

Best, Vladimir M.




________________________________
From: Nabokv-L <nabokv-l@UTK.EDU>
To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
Sent: Wed, January 20, 2010 10:20:17 AM
Subject: [NABOKV-L] DN: "Stang" and "Beaver" reminiscences



Subject: stangs and beavers
From: Dmitri Nabokov

Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 18:13:15 +0100
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@listserv.ucsb.edu>
Dear Friends,

Amid all the admirable research and discourse dedicated to these words and related matters, I noted the mention of "Dmitri's memory" as a possible source of assistance. I can offer the following tidbits. I have a very clear, even tactile recollection  of the upright metal posts for passengers to hang onto, usually located near the doors and on the open platforms of European urban public conveyances.The Russian term for them that, as a child, I learned from my father wasштанга [shtanga].That, of course,  does not preclude  the plethora of other usages and of variants in other languages (such as stang in English, stangue in French, stanga and the aggressive verb stangare in Italian, or the German stange from which, like certain other words with  a technical sense, it may have traversed to Russian. It is also true that VN also used it for a (generally wooden) soccer goalpost. I doubt that there is any link here between the suicide journeys in The
Gift  and Pale Fire.

I can also offer an amusing sidelight for "beaver." My father once told me about a game played at Cambridge when he was a student there. When one among a company of friends was the first to espy a bearded gentleman he would cry out "beaver," and thereby win a point. A similar game, I am told, is played in present-day Russia using sightings of cats or automobiles of an agreed-upon color.
 
DN
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