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Luzhin reprise - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
November 15th, 2002
01:47 pm


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Luzhin reprise
How common a Russian name is Luzhin? I just realized that Crime and Punishment features a Luzhin, and knowing Nabokov's names are carefully chosen, I wonder what Nabokov wants to suggest in naming the protagonist in Luzhin's Defense. Or am I reading meaning into a completely arbitrary choice on Nabokov's part?

Current Mood: procrastinatory
Current Music: Yehudit Ravits -- Shabbatot ve-Chagim

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

Date:November 15th, 2002 06:48 am (UTC)
Hrm. Nabokov says that "the name rhymes with 'illusion' if pronounced thickly enough to deepen the 'u' into 'oo'...

Also of note: in Russian, "luzha" means puddle.
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Date:November 16th, 2002 04:22 am (UTC)
Um, it rhymes with the English word "illusion", as he notes in the preface to the English edition. I doubt this is what informed his choice when he wrote the original Russian.
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Date:November 16th, 2002 10:17 am (UTC)
So basically, old Vlad really meant to imply that Luzhin wet the bed...
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Date:November 15th, 2002 12:32 pm (UTC)
Nabokov's names were carefully chosen, but I would tend to doubt that the care involved the consideration of C&P. I'd look, instead, toward the overall impression the sound of the name makes.

[User Picture]
Date:December 27th, 2002 12:21 pm (UTC)
Yes, it is common, not as common as Ivanov or Smirnov, but much more common than Nabokov or Dostoyevski, Tolstoy or Gogol.

And Лужин is spelled Loozhyn, "oo" being slighlty shorter than "oo" and "y" being slightly more distinct than the sound between "s" and "n" in "illusion". Like the Polish "y".

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