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NABOKOV QUIZThe Barcelona Review
Nabokov Quiz
Issue 14: August - October 1999

Our book winner (by draw) was
John Dennis Larken, Charlottesville, Virginia, who chose The Garland Companion to Vladimir Nabokov as his book of choice.  Our two other correct entries came from:
Kelvin Lu, Chicago, Illinois and 
Luc Mortier, Gent, Belgium


     Personal Data & General Tidbits

1. Nabokov met his wife Véra at

       a. a ballet in Petrograd
*b. a ball in Berlin
       c. the opera in Paris
2. At which of the following universities did Nabokov not hold a teaching position?
       a. Cornell
       b. Wellesley
*c. Vassar
       d. Stanford
       e. Harvard
3. In Russia Nabokov wrote under the pseudonym of

*a. V. Sirin
       b. Vladimir Virin
       c. Van Veen

4. Nabokov’s only son, Dmitri, became

*a. an opera singer and race car driver
       b. an interior decorator and race car driver
       c. a theatrical director and race car driver
5. Nabokov and his wife claimed to have shared a sense of
       a. kinesthesia
* b. synesthesia
       c. telesthesia
6. Lolita was first published by
       a. Algoritm Publishers in Moscow
*b. Olympia Press in Paris
       c. Editions Zoé in Switzerland
       d. G. P. Putnam’s Sons in the U.S.
7. Which one of the following actors never portrayed a Nabokov character?
       a. Peter Sellers
       b. Frank Langella
       c. Nicol Williamson
       d. Sue Lyon
       e. Melanie Griffith
       f.  Ana Karina
       g. Dominique Swain
* h. Klaus Kinski
8. Which rock group includes a reference to Nabokov in their lyrics?
* a. The Police
       b. The Cure
       c. U2
 9. Which British writer once conducted an interview with Mrs. Nabokov that she later claimed was not reported accurately?
       a. Ian McEwan
       b. Christopher Isherwood
*c. Martin Amis
10. On which of the following topics did Nabokov and his epistolary companion, Edmund Wilson, not debate?

       a. the nature of Russian versification
       b. the merits of Lenin
       c. the value of Charles Dickens
*d. the aesthetics of lepidoptera
11. Nabokov was known to have

       a. hidden behind menus in restaurants while his wife ordered
       b. conducted telephone conversations with the caller through his wife
       c. depended on his wife to handle most all of his business   correspondence
       d. relied on his wife to correct his students’ blue books and assist him in lecturing
*e. all of the above
       f. none of the above
12. Nabokov had a fondness for writing his fiction on
       a. long, yellow legal pads
* b. index cards
       c. the back side of his correspondence

    The Texts

13. A potpourri of characters, none obscure . . . Match the following names to the novel in which we find them:

      1. __e__John Shade
      2. __c__Adam Krug
      3. __d__Kurt Dreyer
      4. __m__Lev Ganin
      5. __f__Dolly Haze
      6. __g_Liza Bogoepov
      7. __h__Albinus
      8. __o__Fyodor Godunuv-Cherdynstev
      9. __i__Cincinnatus C.
    10. __l__Martin Edelweiss
    11. __n__Vadim Vadimich
    12. __a__Marina Durmanov
    13. __b__Mr. Silbermann
    14. __j__Luzhin
    15. __k__Hermann

      a. Ada
      b. The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
      c. Bend Sinister
      d. King, Queen. Knave
      e. Pale Fire
      f. Lolita
      g. Pnin
      h. Laughter in the Dark
      i. Invitation to a Beheading
      j. The Defense
      k. Despair
      l. Glory
      m. Mary
      n. Look at the Harlequins!
      o. The Gift

14. Dr. Charles Kinbote claims to come from the kingdom of
* a. Zembla
       b. Antiterra
       c. Padukgrad
15. Ada’s younger sister Lucette
a. leapt off a cliff in southern France
b. threw herself under a train in Prague
* c. jumped off an ocean liner in the Atlantic
16. Lolita married and settled down in
a. upstate New York
* b. Alaska
c. Connecticut
d. the Midwest

17. As critics have pointed out, there are many analogies between The Defense and

* a. "The Overcoat"
       b. The Cherry Orchard
       c. The Death of Ivan Ilych
18. Nabokov’s second novel King, Queen, Knave is a self-reflexive satirical version of
       a. the novel of manners
* b the novel of adultery
       c. the novel of the émigré
19. The first novel Nabokov wrote in America and his second major dystopia would be
       a. Invitation to a Beheading
* b. Bend Sinister
       c. Laughter in the Dark
20. In The Gift the protagonist researches
* a. the literary biography of Nikloai Chernyshevsky
       b. the origins and principles of Daguerre’s camera obscura
       c. the historical background of Czar Alexander
21. Nabokov’s short story "Ultima Thule" from the collection A Russian Beauty includes the character of Mr. Falter, who claims to know
       a. the origin of time
       b. the spatial referents to a parallel universe
* c. the solution to the mystery of the universe
22. In the short story "Signs and Symbols" from Nabokov’s Dozen: Thirteen Stories, "referential mania" is suffered by

* a. a young Jewish boy in a mental hospital
       b. a Russian émigré in an American university
       c. a middle-aged German doctor in Berlin
23. In 1944 Nabokov wrote a study of
* a. Nikolai Gogol
       b. Alexander Pushkin
       c. Ivan Turgenev
24. Nabokov’s "chess novel" would be
       a. Pnin
       b. Look at the Harlequins!
* c. The Defense
25. The only Russian character to appear in Lolita is
       a. the actor Fyodor
* b. the taxi driver Maximovich
       c. the camp counselor Olga
       d. the doorman Vladimir

*  *  *

Two fine Nabokov sites to visit: 
Zembla  The official site for The International Vladimir Nabokov Society
Waxwing  A more personalized site, created by J.M. Martinez

© 1999 The Barcelona Review

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