Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023460, Thu, 15 Nov 2012 20:00:48 -0800

Pnin's necktie
On page 1 of PNIN) we read ”His sloppy socks were of scarlet wool with lilac lozenges; his conservative black Oxfords had cost him about as much as all the rest of his clothing (flamboyant goon tie included)

The phrase is in the second paragraph of VN’s PNIN. I trust every heavy-weight VN aficionado has pondered the meaning (and significance, if any) of
Pnin’s “flamboyant goon tie.” There is a line of clothing apparel (Cornell Big Red Ties) for school sports fans that at one time (but apparently no longer) included red neckties. Several, if not all, Cornell sports teams are called “Big Red” and their uniforms are red.

The term “goon” remains obscure but was apparently a slang term with the definition “(ice hockey, pejorative) An enforcer or fighter” {presumably applied to the team Cornell was playing against).

Nabokovian SCHOLARSHIPmarches on!

D. Barton Johnson

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