Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0015998, Mon, 18 Feb 2008 09:37:07 -0500

Re: Vladimir as a name
Francis Assa mentioned a link between 'Vladimir' and 'Victor,' though I'm
unsure whether or not he was saying that Vladimir can actually be translated
as Victor. In any case, this possible link reminded me of a passage in
Chapter One of Speak, Memory, where VN tells the story of his baptism:

"I was given a tremendously invigorating shock. As if subjected to a second
baptism, on more divine lines than the Greek Catholic ducking undergone
fifty months earlier by a howling, half-drowned half-Victor (my mother,
through the half-closed door, behind which an old custom bade parents
retreat, managed to correct the bungling archpresbyter, Father Konstantin

Are we to understand from this passage that Vladimir was almost baptized as
Victor? And would this mistake have likely been a result of the
archpresbyter making the natural association between the two names in his
own head? Or I am reading the passage incorrectly?

If there is a relationship b/w this story and Pnin's Victor, it goes
unmarked by Barabtarlo in his terrific Pnin annotations (sadly

Matt Roth

Search the archive: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/archives/nabokv-l.html
Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm