Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0026950, Sat, 16 Apr 2016 11:46:16 -0300

Arson/baernet , burning barn and arsenal ...sounds
Jansy Mello: Contemporary portends, and particular events in my
surroundings, may be influencing my interpretation of VN's reference to
"burning barns" in "Ada" and in "Spring in Fialta" [ ..."my aunt's on her
country estate, near Luga, in the deepest folds of winter (how well I
remember the first sign of nearing the place: a red barn in a white
wilderness). [ ] I cannot recall why we had all wandered out of the
sonorous hall into the still darkness, peopled only with firs, snow-swollen
to twice their size; did the watchmen invite us to look at a sullen red glow
in the sky, portent of nearing arson? Possibly."] because one of those
engaged in translating his works to Portuguese chose the word "paiol"
instead of "celeiro" for "barn." In his short-story, written in Berlin in
1936, Nabokov seems to be indirectly reacting to the catastrophic mood
surrounding German's "Summer Olympics," and so much more...His way of
handling V's loss (Nina's common mortality confirmed) creates, in a way, an
alienatory mood related to romantic love and natural landscapes but, of
course, V's first meeting with Nina (1917) and his last (about 1936?), or
his rendering of a divided world is also present (old and new Fialta, the
"Riviera part" of the town, torn posters, his choice of naming the town
"Fialta", etc).

Now another word caught my attention. "Barn/Paiol" having pulled me out of
more romantic matters, a sullen red sky's association to "arson" led me in a
search for common linguistic elements between it and "arsenal" ( arsenal and
paiol, in Portuguese, are materialy connected). There are none. Funny
superficial links, sonorous suggestions, connect arson/baernet in the same
way that they also approached arson/arsenal in my mind. Nabokov's wordgames
often disconsidered etymological determinants and this is why I chose to
submit these the two entries (arson and arsenal) to the VN-L.

arsenal - armory, firepower.

arsenal (n.) <http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=arsenal>

c. 1500, "dockyard, dock with naval stores," from Italian arzenale, from
Arabic dar as-sina'ah "workshop," literally "house of manufacture," from
dar"house" + sina'ah "art, craft, skill," from sana'a "he made."

Applied by the Venetians to a large wharf in their city, which was the
earliest reference of the English word. Sense of "public place for making or
storing weapons and ammunition" is from 1570s. The London football club
(1886) was named for the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, where the original players


<http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=arson&allowed_in_frame=0> arson
(n.) <http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=arson>

1670s, from Anglo-French arsoun (late 13c.), Old French arsion, from Late
Latin arsionem (nominative arsio) "a burning," noun of action from past
participle stem of Latin ardere "to burn," from PIE root *as- "to burn,
glow" (see
<http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=ash&allowed_in_frame=0> ash
(n.1)). The Old English term was bærnet, literally "burning;" and Coke has
indictment of burning (1640).


That's it.

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