Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025349, Mon, 28 Apr 2014 12:30:20 -0300

RES: [NABOKV-L] last straw of champagne in Ada
A.Sklyarenko: He too had had just about his 'last straw' of champagne, namely four out of half a dozen bottles minus a rizzom (as we said at old Chose) and now, as he followed their bluish furs, he inhaled like a fool his right hand before gloving it. (ibid.) According to Webster's dictionary, rizzom means "straw; a tiny bit, particle." It sounds almost like risum (Acc. of risus, Lat. "laughter"). In Saltykov-Shchedrin's fairy tale Medved' na voevodstve ("The Bear on Office of Voevode," 1884) the Mosquito quotes Horace (Ars Poetica) to make fun of the Bear…

Jansy Mello: There’s an added associative path that sprouts different associations ( to the iris and to some orchids, for example).
Cf. Wikipedia : “ In botany and dendrology, a rhizome (from Ancient Greek: rhízōma "mass of roots", from rhizóō "cause to strike root")is a modified subterranean stem of a plant that is usually found underground, often sending out rootsand shoots from its nodes. Rhizomes may also be referred to as creeping rootstalks or rootstocks. Rhizomes develop from axillary buds and are diageotropic or grow perpendicular to the force of gravity. The rhizome also retains the ability to allow new shoots to grow upwards. If a rhizome is separated into pieces, each piece may be able to give rise to a new plant [ ]. This also allows for lateral spread of grasses like bamboo and bunch grasses. Examples of plants that are propagated this way include hops, asparagus, ginger, irises, Lily of the Valley, Cannas, and sympodial orchids[ ]Some plants have rhizomes that grow above ground or that lie at the soil surface, including some Iris species, and ferns, whose spreading stems are rhizomes. Plants with underground rhizomes include gingers, bamboo, the Venus Flytrap, Chinese lantern, Western poison-oak, hops, and Alstroemeria, and the weeds Johnson grass, bermuda grass, and purple nut sedge.” And, of course, our familiar “rice”. Wiki again: “First used in English in the middle of the 13th century, the word "rice" derives from the Old French <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_French> ris, which comes from Italian riso, in turn from the Latin <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin> oriza, which derives from the Greek ὄρυζα (oruza). The Greek word is the source of all European words

Thanks, in particular for the following: Knowing how fond his sisters were of Russian fare and Russian floor shows, Van took them Saturday night to 'Ursus,' the best Franco-Estotian restaurant in Manhattan Major. (2.8)
Ursus is a character in Victor Hugo's L'Homme qui Rit ("The Laughing Man," 1869). A wandering artist who performs at fairs with his tame wolf Homo, Ursus tells Gwynplaine (Ursus's adopted son whose mouth was surgically disfigured to make the face look like a grinning mask): Masca eris, et ridebis semper (you will be a mask and you will always laugh). Ridebis Semper was once Nabokov’s mask. Zud, a little self-parody that appeared in 1940 in Novoe Russkoe Slovo, a Russian-language newspaper in New York, was signed "Ridebis Semper."

Inspite of all the richess, I’m still doubtfull about what VN designated by “minus a rizzom” (is there a mathematical figure for that?)

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