NABOKV-L post 0007168, Mon, 25 Nov 2002 19:05:00 -0800

ebats in Villette
----- Original Message -----
From: "Eric Naiman" <naiman@socrates.Berkeley.EDU>
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> Following our editor's note below, it might be worth looking at
> Villette, which Brian Boyd -- I think -- suggested was the source of
> Chose. In some respects it IS a very Nabokovian work, in terms of
> what the narrator holds back and what the reader is required to
> remember and re-search. Also impressive is the interpenetration of
> the metaphoric and "real narrative" planes. The passage below comes
> from a phantasmagoric and climactic moment towards the book's end,
> when the heroine has been drugged by an opiate that has the
> unexpected result of producing a state of restless excitement. Of
> course, the word has a history of French usage, but I'm not sure how
> many similar uses will be found in English novels.
> p.574 of Oxford edition:
> Curious! I had certainly deemed Madame in her bed, and Désirée in
> her crib, at this blessed minute, sleeping, both of them, the sleep
> of the just, within the sacred walls, amidst the profound seclusion
> of the Rue Fossette. Most certainly also they did not picture "Meess
> Lucie" otherwise engaged; and here we all three were taking our
> "ébats" in the fete-blazing park at midnight.
> E. Naiman
> >
> > > Note 19. In a later conversation with Van, Ada says of Lucette "...
> >> shan'te afraid of her witnessing our ebats (pronouncing on
> >> with triumphant hooliganism, for which my prose,too,is praised, the
> >> vowel is a la Russe" (395). The recommended pronunciation yields the
> >> fundamental Russian obscenity "yebat'."
> >> ------------------------------
> >> ------------------------------
> >> This bit of profound scholarship may be found in article called "The
> >> Scrabble Game in ADA, or Taking Nabokov clitorally." It is reprinted
in D.
> >> Barton Johnson, _Worlds in Regression: Some Novels of Vladimir
> >>
> >>
> --