"under the windows of which, in a roped-off section of the square, a huge custard-coloured balloon was being inflated by Sigismond Lejoyeux, a local aeronaut"


After several mentions of real celebrities of the era,"Sigismond Lejoyeux" is a typically Nabokovian insertion, a pun on Sigmund Freud's name. Nabokov even explained the pun himself in his 1967 Foreword to Speak, Memory: "Reviewers read the first version more carelessly than they will this new edition: only one of them noticed my “vicious snap” at Freud in the first paragraph of Chapter Eight, section 2"