There is something about this short story by Vladimir Nabakov published in the New Yorker May 15, 1948. These days we take typos very seriously and I wonder why people have gotten away with it in the past. Most likely because people make mistakes, event the greatest of people make small mistakes and as you can see in this book, the reading versus the listening make all the difference in the world.
I may be mistaken but this line does not make sense to the eye or the ear. It occurs at 7:00 and this is from the original article in The New Yorker.
Across the narrow courtyard, where the rain tinkled in the dark against some ash cans,
windows were blandly alight, and in one of them a black
trousered man, with his hands clasped under his head and his elbows raised, could he seen lying supine on an untidy bed.
I would image the text was originally “be” not “he” but I was never great in school. Reading it as is does not flow or make sense to me. Upon further research either does the story in general. You can do the rabbit hole of research on this one and I have determined that the story is a description of the description of the story.