Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0026259, Wed, 1 Jul 2015 19:34:43 -0400

Re: Nabokov''s tenuous connections to the Alpha Delta Phi

BB or VN had a memory lapse.....

-----Original Message-----
From: Mahmoud Aliamer <maliamer04@GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Wed, Jul 1, 2015 1:11 pm
Subject: [NABOKV-L] 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, however.

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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