NABOKV-L post 0019401, Fri, 12 Feb 2010 17:52:56 -0200

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Re: golova, Golovin, Veen
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Stan [to Alexey: In Ilf and Petrov's "The Golden Calf" the word голова is used idiomatically, in the sense "good brains:"]... it’s quite a natural and common metonymy...You continue to have a head for diverting word-plays! I can add that “pouf/poof/pooftah” are discouraged terms for male homosexuals, but am reluctant to make any connections with Ivan Ilyich’s after-life orientation! Also, that Ivan spelt backwards is a 19th century Irish canal digger. Canal points to Lacan, whose mirror-stage resonates with Nabokov’s fruitful symmetries.

JM: Have a heart...From poof to Lacan's proof ? That's almost following Nabokov's freudian steps*.

A. Sklyarenko [ to JM: Summing up, the letter H in Russian...] As you may know, the Glagolitic alphabet (the Cyrillic's prototype) was devised by brothers Cyril and Methodius...Cyrillic H (nash of the old Russian alphabet) actually corresponds to Latin N (which looks like mirrored И, the Cyrillic counterpart of I), and Cyrillic X (kher), to Latin H (your wretched "aitch")...

JM: That's the aitch of the question. I didn't know a thing about the Glagolitic alphabet, but I enjoyed your explanation and, like Stan acknowledged, your diverting (amusing and converging) word-plays.


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* Step one :an example of a Freudian interpretation, after one of his hysterics could only remember one word ("Calais")after a dream and only one association to it ("Dover"). He told her that she accused him of being ridiculous in his interpretations (Calais/Dover... Pas de Calais...Napoléon..."du sublime au ridicule il n'y a qu'un pas"). Full cycle, Eh(muet)?

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