Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024558, Sat, 7 Sep 2013 17:26:27 +0300

St. Petersburg in LATH
Either because it could never get over the presence of the bog on which a popular bully had built it, or for some other reason (nobody, according to Gogol, knows), St. Petersburg was no place for children. (5.2)

St. Petersburg is Lik's home city. Lik is part of kulik (stint; sandpiper). In Russian we say: vsyak kulik svoyo boloto khvalit ("every sandpiper praises his bog", in the sense "every bird likes its nest"). Here is a poem I composed ages ago (long before reading LATH or learning of the existence of Nabokv-l):

Стихов волшебная игра
возносит Петербург всё выше.
Меж тем вернулся град Петра
в стихию, из которой вышел.

Но ты рождён здесь, ты привык
здесь жить и находить в том что-то
и будешь славить, как кулик,
своё родимое болото.

Sorry, my English is not good enough to translate it (skylarks hate sandpipers).

p. s. to my previous post:

"Well, I seem to have goofed again (opyat' oskandalilsya)," observed Oks, after taking quite a minute to find his handkerchief, blow his nose with the grandiose deliberation of Varlamov in the role of Gogol's Town Mayor, wrap up the result, and pocket the swaddle. (2.4)

Parandrus is an ox-like mythical animal. VN shares with Shakespeare his birthday: April 23. Taurus (Russ., telets) is also an ox-like mythical animal (and a zodiacal constellation).

Alexey Sklyarenko

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