Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024393, Wed, 10 Jul 2013 09:15:56 -0600

Re: John Shade,
the poet in Vladimir Nabokov's perhaps greatest novel,
Pale Fire ...
It's all in the archives and Wikipedia. Michael Donohue pointed out that
the game when Ben Chapman homered against the Yankees was unlikely to have
inspired such a headline.


At the Wikipedia article on *Pale Fire*, a footnote mentions that there was
a game between the Philadelphia Athletics and the Yankees that the A's won
5-4 on a homer by Sam Chapman, not Ben.

I agree with Carolyn that in addition to the very plausible idea that
Nabokov saw a "Chapman's homer" headline thumbtacked to someone's door, he
could have made up the whole thing.

By the way, Ben Chapman seems to have combined "the jasmine-belt lyncher
and the mystical anti-Semite". Well, maybe not literally a lyncher and not
mystical, but....

Jerry Friedman

On Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 8:10 AM, Nabokv-L <nabokv-l@utk.edu> wrote:

> Greetings, NabLers: I might as well confess that I have these past 10
> days quietly resumed my duties at the helm, while SES takes a well-earned
> break from our weighty responsibility to you.
> Re: Carolyn's question below, I think the answer is in the poem: Nabokov
> must have seen the headline tacked to some English professor's door at
> Wellesley or Cornell. For a similar collection of "real-life puns," see
> the U. of Chicago Philosophy Department's web site, which I happened upon
> just yesterday. They have a dozen or more photographs of random signs that
> unwittingly (or sometimes wittingly) evoke great philosophical debates.
> ~SB
> From:
> Carolyn Kunin <chaiselongue@att.net> <chaiselongue@att.net>
> Date:
> 7/9/2013 1:33 PM
> To:
> Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@listserv.ucsb.edu><NABOKV-L@listserv.ucsb.edu>
> Dear Sandy,
> What a great find - well, it's news to me anyway. Had no idea there
> really was a Chapman in baseball. Of course I was a Dodger girl and it all
> happened years before I was born. Can we be sure that VN was aware that his
> joke had reality to back it up? Was he even in the US in '38? I could look
> it up, but I should have been out the door hours ago.
> best wishes from
> Carolyn
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