Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L discussion


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By MARYROSS, 13 March, 2024

Masons present their teachings through symbols and rituals, which they feel presents more of an overall gestaltische absorption than mere words. The symbols are visual illustrations of the basic precepts, called “emblamata.” From several online sources I have deduced the 33 main symbols. Twenty-seven of these may be found in Pale Fire. What are the chances of that?!


 (Not found are: Keystone, Acacia sprig, Trestle Board, Anchor, Ark, Pavement, gavel, 24” Gauge, Tyler’s Sword)


By Alain Champlain, 6 February, 2024

I've been wondering about a detail in The Vane Sisters:

The lean ghost, the elongated umbra cast by a parking meter upon some damp snow, had a strange ruddy tinge; this I made out to be due to the tawny red light of the restaurant sign above the sidewalk[...]

By carolynkunin, 26 November, 2023

Having apparently misplaced my old copy of "Ada," I just yesterday received a replacement. Recalling that the Family Tree that precedes the novel (on pages negative 5-4) captured my interest in the old days, I spent some time perusing it.

By carolynkunin, 26 November, 2023

Alice Hargreave's own copy of Sirin's 1923 translation of Alice in Wonderland with delightful illustrations by S.V. Zalshupin will be auctioned by Potter & Potter this Thursday, November 30. It is expected to fetch between $10,000-$15,000. A full description of Lot 82  can be found at https://auctions.potterauctions.com/Catalog.aspx?auctionid=1168, complete with bizarre conjectures concerning change of name from Alice to Anya.

By Catagela_adoceta, 24 October, 2023

I have been playing with a searchable text of "Lolita".  Searches on a color that's also a plant are sometimes interesting.

In Humbert's poem that he has Quilty read, there's a line "the awfulness of love and violets". Why violets? There are 8 more occurences of "violet":

By MARYROSS, 13 October, 2023

"nikto b" (no one would) has been often discussed as anagram for Botkin. The first mention in the archives is from 1999 L-serve (https://thenabokovian.org/node/31705), but that indicates that it had been "discussed before." Any consensus on who said it first? 

By MARYROSS, 6 July, 2023

Here is some more on Masonry in Pale Fire:


In PF Kinbote cites a Shadean variant:


“I am not slave! Let be my critic slave.

I cannot be. And Shakespeare would not want thus.

Let drawing students copy the acanthus

I work with Master on the architrave.”






By emilia_brahm, 31 May, 2023

Hello- I wanted to alert you to an excellent Nabokov-inspired book. Tom Will's new epic poem, 'Pale Townie', uses all of the end rhymes from Pale Fire as its structure. I haven't liked any contemporary poetry like I have his poems, which 'are wet and alive like fish just freed from the hook, and they swim in electric diamantine patterns despite (or because of?) the atrazine in the water.' That's from my review of the book, linked here in case you'd like to learn more: https://www.onlybestprojects.com/pale-townie