I do like this song but always cringe at the "Nab-a-koff" pronounciation of Nabokov's surname. Being of Russian descent, it just doesn't sound right to have the second syllable of a name not begin with a consonant sound. Here's Nabokov on the pronounciation of his name.
In a January 1964 Playboy 'interview' with Alvin Toffler (Nabokov always insisted upon having the questions ahead of time and then simply, if the interviewer chose to visit, the author would read out his answers from notecards), Nabokov is quoted as saying:
I have no ear for music, a shortcoming I deplore bitterly.
When I attend a concert-- which happens about once in five
years-- one endeavors gamely to follow the sequence and
relationship of sounds but cannot keep it up for more than a
few minutes. Visual impressions, reflections of hands in
lacquered wood, a diligent bald spot over a fiddle, these take
over, and soon I am bored beyond measure by the motions of the
musicians. My knowledge of music is very slight; and I have a
special reason for finding my ignorance and inability so sad,
so unjust: There is a wonderful singer in my family-- my own
son. His great gifts, the rare beauty of his bass, and the
promise of a splendid career-- all this affects me deeply, and
I feel a fool during a technical conversation among musicians.
I am perfectly aware of the many parallels between the art
forms of music and those of literature, especially in matters
of structure, but what can I do if ear and brain refuse to
cooperate? I have found a queer substitute for music in chess--
more exactly, in the composing of chess problems.
J.P. Donleavy's Desert Island Discs can be found here.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. DONLEAVY & MR. NABOKOV! THANK YOU FOR THE WONDERFUL EXPERIENCES OF YOUR WORDS!
And while we're here, which version of "Books" do you prefer? The Teardrop Explodes or Echo & The Bunnymen?