Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024798, Wed, 13 Nov 2013 14:06:28 -0200

Re: QUERY: "Wodnaggen" in PF - Correction
Maurice Couturier: Neither Zimmer nor Boyd offered an annotation for the word "wodnaggen"in Pale Fire (note to lines 47-48). Has anybody come up with an explanation that I have missed.

Jansy Mello: It seems that VN offers still unexplored challenges when he provides readers with enough Zemblan words and constructions that would aid to imagine their ethymological derivations and a rudimentary grammar...

Many of his translated Zemblan words refer to agricultural life (vebodar, bores and other references to arcadian pastoralism, to pastoral medieval songs and Houdisnki's oeuvre, related to "Prince Igor") and apparently trivial information (such as mown-trop and mow (in Zemblan muwan) ].

The use of "wodnaggen" may be connected to another word offered in PF (Grindelwod, a fine town in E. Zembla, 71, 149). Wodnaggen, related to Judge Goldsmith's taste, might indicate an instance of "poshlust." [. "Actually, it was an old, dismal, white-and-black, half-timbered house, of the type termed wodnaggen in my country, with carved gables, drafty bow windows and a so-called "semi-noble" porch, surmounted by a hideous veranda.". ]

PS: I just noticed that there are two indications in PF's Index that point to the same notes: will they yield any information about "wodnaggen" by their corresponding entries? I don't think so, but they bring up another kinds of information.
Grindelwod, a fine town in E. Zembla, 71, 149.
Falkberg, a pink cone, 71; snowhooded, 149.

from note 71 (parents)My tutor, a Scotsman, used to call any old tumble-down building "a hurley-house." [ ] He was a wretched linguist having at his disposal only a few phrases of French and Danish, but every time he had to make a speech to his subjects - to a group of gaping Zemblan yokels in some remote valley where he had crash-landed - some uncontrollable switch went into action in his mind, and he reverted to those phrases, flavoring them for topical sense with a little Latin. [ ]Charles Xavier had gone to an all-night ball in the so-called Ducal Dome in Grindelwod: for the nonce, a formal heterosexual affair, rather refreshing after some previous sport. At about four in the morning, with the sun enflaming the tree crests and Mt. Falk, a pink cone, the King stopped his powerful car at one of the gates of the palace. The air was so delicate, the light so lyrical, that he and the three friends he had with him decided to walk through the linden bosquet the rest of the distance to the Pavonian Pavilion where guests were lodged

from note 149: The Bera Range, a two-hundred-mile-long chain of rugged mountains, not quite reaching the northern end of the Zemblan peninsula (cut off basally by an impassable canal from the mainland of madness), divides it into two parts, the flourishing eastern region of Onhava and other townships, such as Aros and Grindelwod, and the much narrower western strip with its quaint fishing hamlets and pleasant beach resorts [ ] The nippern (domed hills or "reeks") to the south were broken by a rock and grass slope into light and shadow. Northward melted the green, gray, bluish mountains - Falkberg with its hood of snow, Mutraberg with the fan of its avalanche, Paberg (Mt. Peacock), and others, - separated by narrow dim valleys with intercalated cotton-wool bits of cloud that seemed placed between the receding sets of ridges to prevent their flanks from scraping against one another. Beyond them, in the final blue, loomed Mt. Glitterntin, a serrated edge of bright foil; and southward, a tender haze enveloped more distant ridges which led to one another in an endless array...

Btw: Falkberg somehow refers to the red-riding hood, red-clothed impersonators (Julius Steinmann), a Faulkner "buchmann" - and 'womenses"
"Our blue inenubilable Zembla, and the red-capped Steinmann [ ]At a high point upon an adjacent ridge a steinmann (a heap of stones erected as a memento of an ascent) had donned a cap of red wool in his honor[ ] his heart was a conical ache [ ] The little cap of red velvet in the German version of Little Red Riding Hood is a symbol of menstruation. (Quoted by Prof. C. from Erich Fromm, The Forgotten Language, 1951, N.Y., p. 240.) In front of their garage, on the ground, I noticed a buchmann, a little pillar of library books which Sybil had obviously forgotten there. I bent towards them under the incubus of curiosity: they were mostly by Mr. Faulkner; and the next moment Sybil was back..
and back to "feuilles d'alarme": "the flashing of tinfoil scares in the hillside vineyards." (it occurs to me that "to foil" also means to abort, to frustrate, a check-mate, to cheat...)


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