Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024971, Sun, 5 Jan 2014 12:38:02 -0200

CHALLENGE: Nabokov and Olesha - envy; lividus,
lavender and the purples
Jansy Mello: "There is most certainly no etymological relation bt. Nabokov's proud discovery of the "golubyanka" female, and the word "envy" that I encountered by mere chance. However, were Nabokov even minimally aware of any emotional tonality of green-blue-livid envy in in the given "sublivens" (like Othello's green-eyed monster...) it's possible to admit that his malicious genius could have planted his small butterfly when he wanted to indicate one of these 'ancient human passions on their final parade'."

PS ( deviating from the subject title...):

Nabokov used the word "livid" in the short article where he describes "the female of the LYCAEIDES SUBLIVENS NAB", to emphasize the color of the insect's undersides.No hint of any association, here, to "envy".
Thanks to Victor Fet's ellucidation (off-list), I learned that "livens means blue (Google Translate) - rus. goluboi; sublivens means bluish - rus. golubovatyi"

I quote: "This lupine, which in the mountains of Utah is the food-plant of an alpine race of L. melissa (annetta Edw.), proved to be also the host of L. sublivens. The larva pupates at its base, and in dull weather a few specimens of both sexes of the imago could be found settled on the lower leaves and stems, the livid tone of the butterflies' undersides nicely matching the tint of the plant." [The Lepidopterists' News, New Haven, Conn., Vol. 6, August 8, 1952, pp. 35-36.] *

It's probably another coincidence that Nabokov passed close to Dolores on his trip to Telluride, Colorado. "When reached at last, Telluride turned out to be a damp, unfrequented, but very spectacular cul-de-sac (which a prodigious rainbow straddled every evening)at the end of two converging roads, one from Placerville, the other from Dolores, both atrocious. There is one motel, the optimistic and excellent Valley View Court where my wife and I stayed..."

btw: A few postings ago I brought up Brian Boyd's arguments about Iris and Hazel related to purple, red and blue.
Here is what I got from Samuel Johnson's "A Dictionary of the English Language" (text online)
To purple,v.a [purpuro,Lat.] To make red, to colour with purple. Donne,Milton.
Purples f.[ without a singular] Spots of a livid red, which break out in malignant fevers; a purple fever.

"Pale Fire" (pallid, livid fire...) is also a novel about thieving by "Envy". The link between livid and envy was found in various dictionaries, the first one was from a simplified,non-digital copy ( The Pocket Oxford Latin dictionary, J. Morwood). The rest can be searched online, with its interesting entry, linking lividus to lavender. **

* - "The female of sublivens is of a curiously arctic appearance [ ] Here is a brief description of L. sublivens female: Upper-side of a rather peculiar, smooth, weak brown, with an olivaceous cast in the living insect; more or less extensively dusted with cinder-blue scales; triangulate greyish blue inner cretules generally present in the hindwing and often accompanied by some bluish or greyish bleaching in the radial cells of the forewing; aurorae reduced: short and dullish in the hindwing, blurred or absent in the forewing, tending to disappear in both wings and almost completely absent in 3 specimens; lunulate pale greyish blue outer cretules very distinct in both wings; underside similar to that of the male."

** - http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=livid
early 15c., "of a bluish-leaden color," from Middle French livide and directly from Latin lividus "of a bluish color, black and blue," figuratively "envious, spiteful, ...

Etymologies http://www.wordnik.com/words/livid
Middle English livide, from Old French, from Latin līvidus, from līvēre, to be bluish.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin līvidus ("blueish, livid; envious"), from līveō ("be of a bluish color or livid; envy"), from Old Latin *slivere, from Proto-Indo-European *sliwo-, suffixed form of *(s)leie- (“bluish”). Also see Old English sla ("sloe"), Welsh lliw ("splendor, color"), Old Irish li, Lithuanian slywas ("plum"), Russian and Old Church Slavonic сливовый ("plum"). (Wiktionary)

An Etymological Dictionary of the Latin Language- Francis Edward Jackson VALPY
"and because envy and repining at other's felicity produces this color in the countenance, liveo is to envy."

http://latindiscussion.com/forum/latin/lavandula-and-lavendula.14809/ Question: Through my reading, both online and in print, I have come across two different spellings of the traditional Latin word for Lavender: Lavandula and Lavendula.[ ]I was wondering if you knew the origin of both of these iterations of the same word, what the context was in which they are used individually and (if appropriate) which was correct and which one incorrect. Paulitious, Jul 19, 2012
Reply: According to dictionary.com; the origin of "lavender" is as followed:1225–75; Middle English lavendre < Anglo-French < Medieval Latin lavendula, variant of livendula, nasalized variant of *lividula a plant livid in color. See livid, -ule livid - adjective;Origin: 1615–25; < Latin līvidus black and blue, equivalent to līv ( ēre ) to be livid (akin to Welsh lliwcolor) + -idus -id4
Guy Liccope, Calepinus Novus, modern Latin
1) Lavendula, medieval, ca. 8-10th
2) Lavandula, post 15th - Scholarly/Scientific (16-18)

Charles Beard, Cassell's Latin Dictionary 1892 (CAS):
lividulus, lividula, lividulum, adj: rather envious
liveo, livere, -, -, verb; conjugation 2: be envious; be livid or discolored

Lewis&Short, An elementary dictionary:
līvĭdŭlus, a, um,
I. [select] adj. dim. [id.], somewhat envious: “quibus invideas si lividulus sis,” Juv. 11, 110.
līveō —, —, ēre
LIV-, to be black and blue, be livid : livent rubigine dentes, O.— To envy : iis, qui eloquentiam exercent, Ta.

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