Once in a while, searching for a quote, unexpected words catch my attention. This time was Charles Kinbote's rubicund convives: "I am a strict vegetarian, and I like to cook my own meals. Consuming something that had been handled by a fellow creature was, I explained to the rubicund convives, as repulsive to me as eating any creature, and that would include lowering my voice the pulpous pony-tailed girl student who served us and licked her pencil."
 
My outsider view of Nabokov's language helps me to recall the more usual employ of "convivial" in English, in contrast to Kinbote's "convives"* 
The raw meat quality of living creatures doesn't look appetizing to Kinbote, whose homosexual traits gain an added touch of strict vegetarianism and queasiness, is different in tone from Humbert Humbert's own continental caprices. However, if for the latter a "frenchfied" vocabulary is to be expected, Kinbote's ease remains unexplained to me, unless Zembla shares the French influence, sometimes deplored by Pushkin, with the ancient aristocrats in Russia ( young Charles's tutor was Mr.Campbell, who enjoyed chess games with his "French" mirrorlike companion, Mr Beauchamp.)
I suppose that only John Shade had French Canadian ancestors and a Canadian maid in his household? Could the Soviet expert in crown jewels,Niagarin, have any tactic connection to Shade's and Sybil's Canadian past, not only to King Charles's heirlooms?  
 
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* - in Portuguese, "convivas" and even "rubicundo" were fairly common in the 1950-1970's, but not "convivial"  
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