Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Motuweth frisas

From Vladimir Nabokov’s Pnin (1957):

Pnin’s birthday for instance fell on February 3, by the Julian calendar into which he had been born in St. Petersburg in 1898. He never celebrated it nowadays, partly because, after his departure from Russia, it sidled by in a Gregorian disguise (thirteen — no, twelve days late), and partly because during the academic year he existed mainly on a motuweth frisas basis.
The last time I read Pnin all the way through, there was no Internet, at least not for me. Now there is, and motuweth frisas no longer baffles me. But perhaps the words aren’t meant to baffle: I showed these sentences to my fambly, and they figured out motuweth frisas right away, no Internet needed. You too?

If you give up and want the answer, click here.

Related posts
Nabokov’s index cards
Pnin’s pencil sharpener
Pnin’s posy

[If you haven’t read Pnin, you’re missing a great novel.]

comments: 2

Adair said...

I feel dumb, especially after I gave up and looked at the explanation...

Gunner Taylor said...

Thanks for posting this!