Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024839, Thu, 28 Nov 2013 13:55:47 -0200

Re: [QUERY] Pushkin in LRL& a PS: one instance in PF
Re: [NABOKV-L] [QUERY] Pushkin in LRLC.Kunin: ..."I recall the first time I was confronted with translating "bread" into "du pain" - clearly that is the translation, but what on earth do a baguette and wonder bread (the bread of that time) have in common?Translating water into wine is nothing in comparison (just add grapes and a little time). Now that recalls to mind the day I realized that the French don't have a word comparable to the English word "food." Il y a bien sur "de la nouriture" but it's not the same thing. You do not eat de la nouriture..." Jansy Mello: "Nabokov, in his letters, puzzled about the rendering of "mead" in Russian...Wouldn't he have subtly inserted in ADA, at least, any comment about such discrepancies?"

Jansy Mello: A nutrititive reference by John Shade (cum translation),lines 242-245 (he spells it correctly, too)
That Englishman in Nice,

A proud and happy linguist: je nourris

Les pauvres cigales — meaning that he

Fed the poor sea gulls!

Lafontaine was wrong:

Dead is the mandible, alive the song.

Are there more hints that deal directly with " French food" (ie: "French cuisine" versus "Restauration rapide")?

In the French translation (Girard/Coindreau) of: Blawick, Blue Cove, a pleasant seaside resort on the Western Coast of Zembla, casino, golf course, sea food, boats for hire, 149. the word sea food appears as:"fruits de mer." English "food" is so generic! I wonder when and how did careful Nabokov use the word "food" in his English novels.

In ADA he writes about catfood, larvae and their "foodplants" and I also found:

1.Mlle Larivière did not touch any food till noon, being a doom-fearing ‘midinette’ (the sect, not the shop) and had actually made her father confessor join her group.

2. Tonight she contented herself with the automatic ceremony of giving him what she remembered, more or less correctly, when planning the menu, as being his favorite food — zelyonïya shchi, a velvety green sorrel-and-spinach soup, containing slippery hard-boiled eggs and served with finger-burning, irresistibly soft, meat-filled or carrot-filled or cabbage-filled pirozhki — peer-rush-KEY, thus pronounced, thus celebrated here, for ever and ever. After that, she had decided, there would be bread-crumbed sander (sudak) with boiled potatoes, hazel-hen (ryabchiki) and that special asparagus (bezukhanka) which does not produce Proust’s After-effect, as cookbooks say.[ ]‘Well, his look as if they were about to octopus the food he serves

3. Demon, who was now glutted with family joys and slightly annoyed he had missed the first half of a gambling night in Ladore for the sake of all that well-meant but not quite first-rate food.

4. There she husked out of her sweat shirt, hitched up her green shorts and, asquat on the russet ground, attacked the food she had collected.

5. oh, they positively stank, you know, your little shorts of lavendered Ada, and her catfood, and your caked algarroba!’

6. Live egg-laying females and live food plants, such as violets of numerous kinds, airmailed from everywhere

7.‘I enjoy — oh, loads of things,’she continued in a melancholy, musing tone of voice, as she poked with a fork at her blue trout which, to judge by its contorted shape and bulging eyes, had boiled alive, convulsed by awful agonies. ] ‘I love Flemish and Dutch oils, flowers, food, Flaubert, Shakespeare[ ] but somehow all of it, this sauce and all the riches of Holland, form only a kind of tonen’kiy-tonen’kiy (thin little) layer, under which there is absolutely nothing, except, of course, your image, and that only adds depth and a trout’s agonies to the emptiness. I’m like Dolores — when she says she’s "only a picture painted on air."’//‘Never could finish that novel — much too pretentious.’//‘Pretentious but true. It’s exactly my sense of existing — a fragment, a wisp of color.."

8. he lost the power of speech, though still able to nod or shake his head, frown in concentration, or faintly smile when inhaling the smell of food (the origin, indeed, of our first beatitudes).

9. In regard to everyday life and the habitual comfort of the body (reasonably healthy, reasonably strong, breathing the green breeze, relishing the aftertaste of the most exquisite food in the world — a boiled egg).
How amazing. Nabokov's employ of the word "food" is very specious! (sometimes coming right after "glut", "devour" or "to octopus" and primitive forms of nourishment)

I loved to find a comment in ADA about "Lolita" ( "Dolores...only a picture painted on air"... "a wisp of color" ) and, stretching it, to Pushkin's "perfect poem to K***" when we relate perfection and abyssal emptiness.

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