NABOKV-L post 0018641, Wed, 7 Oct 2009 15:26:50 -0300

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[NABOKOV-L] [ Sighting] [QUERY] Ada's first lines: Pontius
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In a Brazilian writer's blog a small contest was created concerning the choice for best first lines. The winner was Tolstoi's Anna Karenin, followed by Nabokov's "Lolita" and, next. Camus ("L' Étranger"). Começos inesquecíveis: Tolstoi é o campeão: Sérgio Rodrigues, 07/10/2009.

The first lines in "Ada or Ardor" are more or less dissimilar to Tolstoy's winning sentence: " 'All happy families are more or less dissimilar; all unhappy ones are more or less alike,' says a great Russian writer in the beginning of a famous novel (Anna Arkadievitch Karenina, transfigured into English by R.G. Stonelower, Mount Tabor Ltd., 1880). That pronouncement has little if any relation to the story to be unfolded now, a family chronicle, the first part of which is, perhaps, closer to another Tolstoy work, Detstvo i Otrochestvo (Childhood and Fatherland, Pontius Press, 1858)."
Curious about the added information on Tolstoy's work, by Pontius Press, I googled for more data. I was unable to discover to which work Nabokov was referring.
One of Tolstoy's first writings, in 1852, signed with the initials L.N, was "Dietstvo" ( Childhood), which he sent to N. A. Niekrassov to get it published in the magazine "Sovriemiênik." He was very displeased with the title, as it came out ( as about other editorial alterations).
Two other entries were intriguing:

1.Full text of "Selected essays; with a memoir"
Childhood " (Dietstvo)
EUGENE SCHUYLER: SELECTED ESSAYS; WITH A MEMOIR BY EVELYN SCHUYLER SCHAEFFER
NEW YORK - CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS - 1901

2. Thorez, Maurice Thorez Staline Enfance et adolescence Épopée Livre ...
Titre (en vo), Stalin Dietstvo i otrotchestvo Èpopeya Kniga piervaya. Auteur, LEONIDZE, Gueorguiï. Autres collaborateurs, TIKHONOVA, N. [traduit du géorgien ... www.fonds-thorez.ivry94.fr/.../bibliotheque-2004-maurice_thorez__staline_enfance_et_adolescence__popee_livre_premier.ht... -
Lieu d'édition Moscou Pays d'édition Russie : ex-URSS Année1947

Is there a Pontius (Pilate) press?


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