NABOKV-L post 0008619, Sun, 21 Sep 2003 16:22:51 -0700

Fw: Triple viol
Re: Triple viol
----- Original Message -----
From: Carolyn Kunin
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2003 9:16 PM
Subject: Re: Triple viol

Dear Yannicke,

There is no such thing as a triple viol, but there is a treble (soprano) viol. The original meaning of treble was "the third voice" in a three part group of singers. So triple and treble are actually the same word. There is another similar pair -- duple and double . This seems to be unique to English.

In context the triple viol was played by Frau Rack's lover and, at least according to Ada, the likely genitor of the triplets. Perhaps VN is telling us that this is impossible (i.e. that he "sings soprano", & is, for all intents and purposes, a castrato).

I do not think this is the complete answer. The driblets, dry weeks and ewesdropper all seem to be related. I think the ewesdropper is a code word for eyedropper (ewe>you>I>eye), but there probably is more to this as well. We know that Herr Rack was poisoned. Some of the clues point to Ada (who in a letter to Van tries to implicate Frau Rack); one commentator (unfortunately I don't recall who) thinks that Rack committed suicide.

Perhaps these are all clues. At least I think so.


EDNOTE. My assumption is that it refers, as you suggest, to the triplets she is carrying. Other ideas?
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2003 12:52 AM
Subject: Triple viol

'His wife's lover played the triple viol'. (Ada, II, 5, p 301).

Does anyone have a suggestion for what Lucette means by "triple viol"? Ada, II, 5 (p301 in Penguin Ed).
The viol is probably here the short name for the viola da gamba? in that family, there can be a "double bass", which is a bigger bass viol. But what is a triple viol? Is it a pun with the "driblets" that comes before? Can somebody explain?

thank you,

yannicke chupin