NABOKV-L post 0018674, Fri, 16 Oct 2009 14:12:59 +0400

Re: Nabokov and Jules Verne
Dear Jansy,

I didn't notice horns in "Corneville." The "corny issue" of cuckolding is also emphasised in connection to Tobak, Cordula's first husband ("Will you cooperate with me in cornuating your husband?" "Antlers can be very sensitive when new": 3.2). In Ilf and Petrov's "The Twelve Chairs" there is a character, a friend of Ellochka the cannibal, Fima Sobak (a curious name, sobak, accented, unlike Fima's surname, on the second syllable, being Russian for "of dogs;" cf. Sobakevich, a character in Gogol's Dead Souls after whom the cocker spaniel in VN's Pnin is named). On the other hand, in I.&P.'s "The Golden Calf" there is the Chernomorsk office "Antlers and Hooves" (Roga i kopyta) founded by Bender and his friends.

I know that, in travelling from West to East, Phileas Fogg gains one day (which allows him to win the wager he believes he has lost). Btw., he would have never learnt this and would have lost the wager, if he didn't propose to Aouda, the young Parsi woman, whom he saved in India. Note that den' is Russian for "day," and den'gi means in Russian "money." DEN'GI - DEN' = GI. Gi de Mopassan is the Russian spelling of "Guy de Maupassant." Cf. Mlle Lariviere's words (after the commercial success of her La riviere de diamants, the Antiterran version of Maupassant's La Parure): "Fame struck and the roubles rolled and the dollars poured" (1.31). On the other hand, DREBEDEN' ("nonsense, rubbish") - DEN' = BREED.
Maupassant and Jules Verne are the only two writers whom Lysevich, a character in Chekhov's story "Women's Realm" (1895), sometimes reads. The name Lysevich comes from lysyi ("bald"), while Glagolev, the name of the story's heroine, to whom L., her lawyer, suggests that she should drink Maupassant, comes from glagol' ("gallows"), which is the name of the letter Г (corresponding to the Latin G but looking like the inverted Latin L) in the old Russian alphabet. (Cf. "a gallon of Gallows Ale" that Van offers to his colleagues: 2.6.) Besides, glagol (ending in the consonant not softened by the so-called "soft sign," the not pronounced letter of the Russian alphabet, that looks like the inverted P, the Cyrillic counterpart of the Latin R that, in turn, looks like the inverted Cyrillic letter Я, which is also Russian for "I," the nom. sing. pronoun) is Russian for "verb" (and obsolete Russian for "word").

PARSI = PSARI = PARIS = PARI + S = PISAR' - Ь (psari is pl. of psar', Russian for "person in charge of hounds;" psari v okhotnich'ikh uborakh, "people in charge of hounds clothed like huntsmen," are mentioned in the beginning of Pushkin's Count Nulin, 1825, whose hero, returning from Paris to Petersburg, attempts to cuckold the wife of a squire while the latter is away hunting; when the husband, long cuckolded by his neighbor, whose name in the drafts was Verin, which means "belonging to Vera," learns of Nulin's spurned advances, he threatens to hunt the departed Count with his hounds; pari is French and Russian for "wager;" the title of a story by Chekhov, 1889; cf. the frivolous wager won by Demon Veen when he made a bet with his orchestra-seat neighbor, Prince N., and "deflowered" Marina: 1.2; pisar' is Russian for "clerk;" cf. general'nyi pisar', "foreign minister," Orlik, a character in Pushkin's Poltava, 1829; note that Orlik + t = klitor, "clitoris," the word that Lucette's letter form in a Flavita game: 2.5; Ь is the "soft sign")


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