NABOKV-L post 0002490, Wed, 22 Oct 1997 13:50:29 -0700

The Rapist (fwd)
From: "Clarence F. Brown" <CB@pucc.Princeton.EDU>

In the November 6th issue of the NYRB Helen Vendler reviews, among other
books of poetry, James Lasdun's WOMAN POLICE OFFICER IN ELEVATOR. In one
of his poems Lasdun speaks of teaching his "class on Nabokov." Though
she quotes these lines, they do not help Vendler with the following:
" the door/ Opened and we parted, the clamped rift/Between us widening like
a continental drift/Of the sexes; she to the butcher, the breaker,/ The
ripper, the rapist,/ I to my therapist."She writes: "The final pun, alas,
doesn't work." Alas indeed. It worked for the Master.

Clarence Brown
Charlie Holmes Professor of Paronomasia