NABOKV-L post 0014294, Wed, 6 Dec 2006 17:36:00 +0000

Re: "C" "K" "S" in PF solution (tongue-twisters)
On 3/12/06 12:50, "Alexey Sklyarenko" <skylark05@MAIL.RU> wrote:

>> the choice of Carl over Karl is no surprise to us mathematicians. The
>> greatest German EVER was christened CARL Friedrich GAUSS (1777-1855) [skb]
> Dear Stan Kelly-Bottle,
> As someone who was born in the Communist state (in 1970), I was habitually
> thinking of that other Karl (of whom we belatedly found out that he was not
> the greatest German -- in fact, not a German at all) and quite forgot about
> one of VN's ancestors, the composer Graun, whose name was CARL Heinrich.
>> Your ‘coincidences’ are remarkably UNremarkable [skb]
> Prel = perl (Russian for "pearl")
> pearl = aprel (Russian for "April;" Carl du Prel was born on April 3, 1839,
> and died the year in which VN, whose life also began in April, was born)
> In you opinion, the above is not erstaunlich?
> I read only a few chapters of "The Philosophy of Mysticism" (1885), the book
> by Carl du Prel that appeared, by another coincidence, the same year as
> Stevenson's Jekyll & Hyde was written and that deals almost exclusively with
> dreams, and those chapters strike me, like Victor's tongue-twister, as
> strangely Pale Fire-relevant. To Victor's observations about Charles/Karl
> (their irony didn't escape me) I could add that Kinbote's uncle Conmal
> addresses him once as karlik, which is Russian for "dwarf." Conmal's address
> is ironical, because Kinbote is a big tall man, "the Great Beaver." It is Hyde
> in the Stevenson story who has a dwarfish appearance. In his lecture on R. L.
> Stevenson, VN points out that both "Hyde" and "Jekyll" are Danish words, just
> as the word "bodkin" happens to be one. Add to this the fact that the word
> "kinbote" occurs in "Jekyll and Hyde" (as pointed out by Carolyn).
> Alexey Sklyarenko
Dear Alexey: it takes quite a piling up of non-causally-related Koestlerian
events to ASTONISH this jaded Statistician! I gladly share your
tongue-in-cheek DELIGHT when such things happen. BUT, being an Œundivided
monist¹ like VN, I EXPECT such co-incidents in a tightly co-integrated
world. Our (VN¹s and mine!) cosmic-comic God (unlike Einstein¹s) does play
games-of-chance: word-golf with LOADED dice!
Karl - Carl ­ Cart ­ Cant ­ KANT. Lord, here comes Immanuel just in time for

Having lectured in CCCP (before you were born, in fact), I can also share
(again with VN) your dread of that other unmentionable Karl! Though a
dwindling few still defend him as a philosopher whose ideas were hijacked by

One case where the C-K switch seems significant, at least to my irrational
neurons: why do I delight in CULTURE but shiver-cold at the sound/sight of

Can I switch briefly (to reduce the number of postings as SES requests)?

We discussed the Œmemorability¹ of VN¹s writings, i.e., the ease (or lack
of) in being able to recite VN from memory. Clearly, when VN sticks his
gear-lever in P for Poetic, his words are more easily etched in our minds.
In fact, poetry is often characterized as Œmemorable prose.¹ Thus HH¹s
opening hymn to Ms Haze trips wonderfully from our tongues (literally!).
Yet, consider Claude Shannon¹s Information Theory which is based on
probabilities. Information is that which Œreduces our uncertainty.¹ For
example, if we reach the letter Q/q in an English message string, there is a
high probabilty that U/u will follow. The U/u therefore carries little
Œinformation¹ (there¹s not much uncertainty). Likewise, when a prosaic
lister writes ³I¹ll strike when the ...² we expect the completion of the
cliché ³iron is hot.² We are left to ponder WHY poetry is so Œmemorable¹
when each unrolling word/phrase is presumably fresh, cliché-free, and
unexpected ‹ and therefore packed with Œinformation¹ -- and therefore more
taxing to memorize? Of course, one can mention meter and rhyme as common
mnemonic aids.

Stan Kelly-Bootle

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