Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023733, Mon, 4 Mar 2013 16:21:22 -0300

Re: Fwd: RE: [NABOKV-L] Pnin's own Vladimir?
Re: [NABOKV-L] Fwd: RE: [NABOKV-L] Pnin's own Vladimir?Stan Kelly Bootle notes that Current Standard English, unlike French (delirer) and other Romance languages, as noted by Jansy Mello, no longer has a simple verb meaning “to be delirious” or “to have/suffer a delirium.” If Maxim Shrayer’s quote ("she suffered a miscarriage and died the next night, deliring and praying") is from VN-verbatim, we can assume that he is either teasing us with ‘borrowed’ Latin/French, or, perish the heresy, that VN was unaware of the now archaic verb “to delirate” reported in Samuel Johnson’s 'Dictionary of the English Language’ (1755) [ ]I have yet to check VN’s favourite Webster III.
Re-peripeties: I’m more familiar with using the original Greek, peripeteia (literally, “a sudden fall or change”). If the aim is to impress fellow-scholars, that’s the way to go.

Jansy Mello: I checked "deliring" in my copy of "The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov," 1995 Knopf (339)*
And...I could have kicked myself for having included "peripeties" among the Latin words. Thanks for the correction and commentaries. The "sudden fall or change" or " reversion of circumnstances" in common Brazilian usage implies an action that is advantageous to the subject, like a "prowess." For Aristotle ("Ars poetica'), as wikipedia informs me, it demands a heroic action (and "hybris") that opens the way to catharsis. You mentioned "wide semantic drifts" and, I suppose, the same is applicable to how words travel from one country, age, culture to another.

* - "Sovershenstvo" was written in Berlin in June 1932. It appeared in the Paris daily Poslednie Novosti (July 3, 1932) and was included in my collection Soglyadatay, Paris, 1938. Although I did tutor boys in my years of expatriation, I disclaim any other resemblance between myself and Ivanov.'. V.N., Tyrants Destroyed and Other Stories, 1975. [ ] Tyrants Destroyed (New York, McGraw-Hill, 1975) includes twelve stories translated by Dmitri Nabokov in collaboration with the author:

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