Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0026256, Wed, 1 Jul 2015 00:02:06 -0500

Nabokov''s tenuous connections to the Alpha Delta Phi
Boyd says in *Vladimir Nabokov: The American Years*, "On July 3 [1949] they
reached Salt Lake City. There they stayed at a sorority house, Alpha Delta
Phi, the Nabokovs themselves in a room with a private bath, a condition
Nabokov had insisted on before agreeing to come."

I'm confused for the following reason:
Alpha Delta Phi, to my knowledge, has never had a chapter in Utah. What's
more, Alpha Delta Phi is a fraternity, not a sorority - true, there is the
Alpha Delta Phi Society developed so women would be able to join the Alpha
Delta Phi, but it wasn't developed until 1992.
It's possible, I'll concede, that the Nabokovs may have stayed at Alpha Phi
or Alpha Delta *Pi*, but the Alpha Delta Phi sorority at the University of
Utah sounds implausible to me.

Nabokov *does* have a very very feeble connection to the Alpha Delta Phi,

Twice in The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov does the Lily of the Valley -
official flower of the Alpha Delta Phi - show up.
Once in "The Circle:" "In a melting crystalline mist, as if it were all
taking place under water, Innokentiy saw himself as a boy of three or four
entering the manor house and floating through marvelous rooms, with his
father moving on tiptoe, a damp nosegay of lilies of the valley bunched in
his fist so tight that they squeaked..."
Once in "Mademoiselle O:" "Uncles and aunts and cousins would arrive on
such days from neighborhood estates, and the village doctor would come in
his dogcart, and the village schoolmaster would be heard blowing his nose
in the cool hall, where he passed from mirror to mirror with a greenish,
damp, creaking bouquet of lilies of the valley or a sky-colored, brittle
one of cornflowers in his fist."

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