NABOKV-L post 0002221, Sat, 5 Jul 1997 10:58:09 -0700

Cerevis in KQK (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 1997 19:13:59 +0730
Subject: Cerevis in KQK

From: Bernard Kreise <>

Dear Nabokovians,

Does anyone know the meaning of "cerevis" in KQK, beginning of chap.6,
p.111 (Vintage) ?

Thank you. Bernard Kreise
EDITOR's NOTE. Franz is apologizing to Martha for bringing her to a
squalid tavern. The "serevis" passage ("Let's imagine you are a Heidelberg
student. How nice you would look in a cerevis." p. 111) is not in the
original Russian text. The German version "translates" "cerevis" as
"Zerevis." Altho, I don't find the Eng. or German term in any dictionary
at hand, the OED does give "cerevisial" (an adjective meaning "of or
relating to beer" from the latin "cerevsia." Hence the word obviously refers to a
costume worn by German university students in beer halls.
It is the sort of Latin(ate)jargon much loved by European students in the
last century. "Gaudeamus igitur" and all that. Cf. those operettas by
Sigmund Romberg and Rudolph Friml.
There is probably no English or French translation, so translator
Dmitri Nabokov may have just "anglicized" the German term.