NABOKV-L post 0027230, Tue, 22 Nov 2016 10:30:52 +0300

Subject
circles, silhouette, roubles, burka, Perun,
vibrational vibgyors & black rainbow in Ada
Date
Body
Here is the revised and amplified version of my previous post:



Ada to Van: ‘Well, perhaps, I ought not to try to divert you ― after you
trampled upon those circles of mine; but I’m going to relent and show you
the real marvel of Ardis Manor; my larvarium, it’s in the room next to
mine’ (which he never saw, never ― how odd, come to think of it!). (1.8)



By “those circles of mine” Ada means the roundlets of live light in her
sun-and-shade games (“the most boring and stupid games anybody has ever
invented, anywhere, any time, a.m. or p.m.”, according to Van). Ada makes a
reference to Noli turbare circulos meos (“do not disturb my circles”), the
phrase attributed to Archimedes (the Greek mathematician who was killed by a
Roman soldier). In his essay on Baltrushaitis in “The Silhouettes of
Russian Writers” Ayhenvald quotes Baltrushaitis’ poem Noli tangere
circulos meos (1906) and says that in the poet’s lips the famous words of
Archimedes acquire a more profound meaning:



Углублённый смысл получают в устах нашег
о поэта знаменитые Архимеда - Noli tangere circulos
meos! Эти circuli, эти круги земные и есть наше ж
изненное дело: надо их дочертить, надо дос
лушать вещий звон колоколов, оберечь своё
душевное достояние от всяких нападений и
падений.



According to Ayhenvald, we have to protect our soul from all the attacks and
falls (napadeniy i padeniy). When they climb the glossy-limbed shattal tree
(the Tree of Knowledge that grows in Ardis Park), Van and Ada nearly fall
down:



One afternoon they were climbing the glossy-limbed shattal tree at the
bottom of the garden. Mlle Larivière and little Lucette, screened by a
caprice of the coppice but just within earshot, were playing grace hoops.
One glimpsed now and then, above or through the foliage, the skimming hoop
passing from one unseen sending stick to another. The first cicada of the
season kept trying out its instrument. A silver-and-sable skybab squirrel
sat sampling a cone on the back of a bench.

Van, in blue gym suit, having worked his way up to a fork just under his
agile playmate (who naturally was better acquainted with the tree’s
intricate map) but not being able to see her face, betokened mute
communication by taking her ankle between finger and thumb as she would have
a closed butterfly. Her bare foot slipped, and the two panting youngsters
tangled ignominiously among the branches, in a shower of drupes and leaves,
clutching at each other, and the next moment, as they regained a semblance
of balance, his expressionless face and cropped head were between her legs
and a last fruit fell with a thud ― the dropped dot of an inverted
exclamation point. She was wearing his wristwatch and a cotton frock.

(‘Remember?’

‘Yes, of course, I remember: you kissed me here, on the inside ―’

‘And you started to strangle me with those devilish knees of yours ―’

‘I was seeking some sort of support.’) (1.15)



Describing his first physical contact with Ada, Van says that “we touch in
silhouette:”



After the first contact, so light, so mute, between his soft lips and her
softer skin had been established ― high up in that dappled tree, with only
that stray ardilla daintily leavesdropping ― nothing seemed changed in one
sense, all was lost in another. Such contacts evolve their own texture; a
tactile sensation is a blind spot; we touch in silhouette. (1.16)



At the end of the chapter Ada mentions Kim Beauharnais, the kitchen boy and
photographer at Ardis whom Marina (Van’s, Ada’s and Lucette’s mother)
wanted to take a picture of Van and Ada:



But nature is motion and growth. One afternoon he came up behind her in the
music room more noiselessly than ever before because he happened to be
barefooted ― and, turning her head, little Ada shut her eyes and pressed
her lips to his in a fresh-rose kiss that entranced and baffled Van.

‘Now run along,’ she said, ‘quick, quick, I’m busy,’ and as he lagged
like an idiot, she anointed his flushed forehead with her paintbrush in the
semblance of an ancient Estotian ‘sign of the cross.’ ‘I have to finish
this,’ she added, pointing with her violet-purple-soaked thin brush at a
blend of Ophrys scolopax and Ophrys veenae, ‘and in a minute we must dress
up because Marina wants Kim to take our picture ― holding hands and
grinning’ (grinning, and then turning back to her hideous flower). (ibid.)



Eight years later Van and Ada look up this photograph in Kim Beauharnais’
album:



A formal photograph, on a separate page: Adochka, pretty and impure in her
flimsy, and Vanichka in gray-flannel suit, with slant-striped school tie,
facing the kimera (chimera, camera) side by side, at attention, he with the
shadow of a forced grin, she, expressionless. Both recalled the time
(between the first tiny cross and a whole graveyard of kisses) and the
occasion: it was ordered by Marina, who had it framed and set up in her
bedroom next to a picture of her brother at twelve or fourteen clad in a
bayronka (open shirt) and cupping a guinea pig in his gowpen (hollowed
hands); the three looked like siblings, with the dead boy providing a
vivisectional alibi. (2.7)



A guinea pig in Uncle Ivan’s gowpen brings to mind Cheepy, in VN's novel
Kamera Obskura (1932) the guinea pig drawn by Robert Horn (a gifted but
unprincipled artist). One of Horn’s drawings of Cheepy is accompanied by
the brief Latin phrase Noli me tangere:



В начале 1928 года в Берлине знатоку живопи
си Бруно Кречмару, человеку очень, кажетс
я, сведущему, но отнюдь не блестящему, при
шлось быть экспертом в пустячном, прямо д
аже глупом деле. Модный художник Кок напи
сал портрет фильмовой артистки Дорианны
Карениной. Фирма личных кремов приобрела
у неё право помещать на плакатах репродук
цию с портрета в виде рекламы своей губно
й помады. На портрете Дорианна держала, пр
ижатой к голому своему плечу, большущую п
люшевую Чипи. Горн из Нью-Йорка тотчас пре
дъявил фирме иск.

Всем прикосновенным к этому делу было в к
онце концов важно только одно \xa8C побольше
пошуметь: о картине и об актрисе писали, п
омаду покупали, а Чипи, уже теперь тоже \xa8C у
вы! \xa8C нуждавшаяся в рекламе, дабы оживить
хладевшую любовь, \xa8C появилась на новом ри
сунке Горна cо скромно опущенными глазам
и, с цветком в лапке и с лаконической надп
исью ?Noli me tangere?. (Chapter I)



Dorianna Karenin (who was portrayed pressing big plushy Cheepy to her bare
shoulder) is a movie actress. One of the photographs in Kim’s album shows
Sumerechnikov, the “American precursor of the Lumière brothers” (1.6)
whose name comes from sumerki (dusk):



A photograph of an oval painting, considerably diminished, portrayed
Princess Sophia Zemski as she was at twenty, in 1775, with her two children
(Marina’s grandfather born in 1772, and Demon’s grandmother, born in
1773).

‘I don’t seem to remember it,’ said Van, ‘where did it hang?’

‘In Marina’s boudoir. And do you know who this bum in the frock coat is?’

‘Looks to me like a poor print cut out of a magazine. Who’s he?’

‘Sumerechnikov! He took sumerographs of Uncle Vanya years ago.’

‘The Twilight before the Lumières. Hey, and here’s Alonso, the
swimming-pool expert. I met his sweet sad daughter at a Cyprian party ― she
felt and smelt and melted like you. The strong charm of coincidence.’

‘I’m not interested. Now comes a little boy.’

‘Zdraste, Ivan Dementievich,’ said Van, greeting his fourteen-year-old
self, shirtless, in shorts, aiming a conical missile at the marble
fore-image of a Crimean girl doomed to offer an everlasting draught of
marble water to a dying marine from her bullet-chipped jar. (2.7)



A colloquial form of zdravstvuyte (“how do you do”), Van’s zdraste brings
to mind Ada’s phrase zdravstvuyte, apofeoz (“lo and behold: the
apotheosis”):



‘Quick, quick, quick, collecting the flat shining cards again to build
again, again slowly? We were abominably depraved, weren’t we?’

‘All bright kids are depraved. I see you do recollect ―’

‘Not that particular occasion, but the apple tree, and when you kissed my
neck, et tout le reste. And then ― zdravstvuyte: apofeoz, the Night of the
Burning Barn!’ (1.18)



Describing the Night of the Burning Barn when he and Ada make love for the
first time, Van mentions electricity (banned on Antiterra after the L
disaster in the middle of the 19th century):



‘I want to ask you,’ she said quite distinctly, but also quite beside
herself because his ramping palm had now worked its way through at the
armpit, and his thumb on a nipplet made her palate tingle: ringing for the
maid in Georgian novels ― inconceivable without the presence of elettricit
à ―

(I protest. You cannot. It is banned even in Lithuanian and Latin. Ada’s
note.)



Jurgis Baltrushaitis (1873-1944) was a Lithuanian poet who wrote in Russian
(and who was the head of Lithuanian diplomatic mission in Moscow after Lenin
came to power in October of 1917).



The Antiterran L disaster seems to correspond to the mock execution of
Dostoevski and the Petrashevskians that happened in our world on January 3,
1850 (NS). In his essay on Dostoevski in “The Silhouettes of Russian
Writers” Ayhenvald calls Dostoevski “Ivan the Terrible of Russian
literature:”



Мучитель и мученик, Иван Грозный русской
литературы, он казнит нас лютой казнью св
оего слова и потом, как Иван Грозный, живо
й человеческий анчар, ропщет и молится, и
зовет Христа, и Христос приходит к этому б
езумцу и мудрецу, к этому юродивому, и тог
да он плачет кровавыми слезами и упоённо
терзает себя своими веригами, своими като
ржными цепями, которые наложили на него л
юди и которых он уже и сам не мог сбросить
со своей измученной души.



In Pushkin’s drama Boris Godunov (1825) Grigoriy Otrepiev (the impostor who
says that the shade of Ivan the Terrible has adopted him) flees to
Lithuania. A character in Boris Godunov, Pushkin (the poet’s ancestor)
tells Shuyski that Latinskie popy (the Catholic priests) are in agreement
with the Pretender:



П у ш к и н
Да слышно, он умён, приветлив, ловок,
По нраву всем. Московских беглецов
Обворожил. Латинские попы
С ним заодно. Король его ласкает
И, говорят, помогу обещал.



PUSHKIN. 'Tis said that he is wise,
Affable, cunning, popular with all men.
He has bewitched the fugitives from Moscow,
The Catholic priests see eye to eye with him.
The King caresses him, and, it is said,
Has promised help.



In Pushkin’s drama the Pretender mentions latinskie stikhi (Latin verses)
and latinskaya muza (Latin Muse):



Что вижу я? Латинские стихи!

Стократ священ союз меча и лиры,

Единый лавр их дружно обвивает.

Родился я под небом полунощным,

Но мне знаком латинской Музы голос,

И я люблю парнасские цветы.

Я верую в пророчества пиитов.

Нет, не вотще в их пламенной груди

Кипит восторг: благословится подвиг,

Его ж они прославили заране!

Приближься, друг. В моё воспоминанье

Прими сей дар.

(Даёт ему перстень)

Когда со мной свершится

Судьбы завет, когда корону предков

Надену я; надеюсь вновь услышать

Твой сладкий глас, твой вдохновенный гимн


Musa gloriam coronat, gloriaque musam.

Итак, друзья, до завтра, до свиданья.



P r e t e n d e r

What do I see? Verses in Latin!

Blessed is the holy unity of sword and plough,

One laurel friendly twines them round.

Under the midnight heaven I was born,

The voice of Latin Muse, however,

Is familiar to me.

I love the flowers of Parnassus

And I believe in prophecy of poets.

It's not in vain, delight boils in their flaming chests:

Blessed is the feat: they've glorified it in advance!

Come here, my friend. Accept this gift

and you'll remember me.

(Gives him a ring)

When covenant of my fate is done for me

When I put on the crown of my fathers,

I hope to hear your sweet voice and your inspired hymn again.

Musa gloriam coronat, gloriaque musam.

And so, friends, till tomorrow, goodbye.

(transl. A. Vagapov)



Parnasskie tsvety (the flowers of Parnassus) mentioned by the Pretender
bring to mind Mlle Larivière’s penname:



Yes! Wasn’t that a scream? Larivière blossoming forth, bosoming forth as a
great writer! A sensational Canadian bestselling author! Her story ‘The
Necklace’ (La rivière de diamants) had become a classic in girls’ schools
and her gorgeous pseudonym ‘Guillaume de Monparnasse’ (the leaving out of
the ‘t’ made it more intime) was well-known from Quebec to Kaluga. As she
put it in her exotic English: ‘Fame struck and the roubles rolled, and the
dollars poured’ (both currencies being used at the time in East
Estotiland); but good Ida, far from abandoning Marina, with whom she had
been platonically and irrevocably in love ever since she had seen her in
‘Bilitis,’ accused herself of neglecting Lucette by overindulging in
Literature; consequently she now gave the child, in spurts of vacational
zeal, considerably more attention than poor little Ada (said Ada) had
received at twelve, after her first (miserable) term at school. (1.31)



Mlle Larivière’s first name seems to hint at H. C. Andersen’s fairy tale
“Little Ida’s Flowers” (1835). In Budrys i ego synov’ya (1833),
Pushkin’s version of Mickiewicz's ballad “The Three Sons of Budrys,”
Budrys (an old Lithuanian) uses the phrase deneg s tselogo sveta (money from
the whole world) and mentions rubli (the roubles):



?…А другой от прусаков, от проклятых крыжа
ков,
Может много достать дорогого,
Денег с целого света, сукон яркого цвета;
Янтаря ― что песку там морского…?



Снег на землю валится, сын дорогою мчится,
И под буркою ноша большая.
?Чем тебя наделили? что там? Ге! не рубли л
и??
?Нет, отец мой; полячка младая?.



In the same poem yantar’ (amber) and burka (felt cloak) are mentioned.
Yantar’ brings to mind an unmentionable ‘lammer’ (1.3) banned on
Antiterra after the L disaster and the Antiamberians of Ladore County:



‘What was that?’ exclaimed Marina, whom certicle storms terrified even
more than they did the Antiamberians of Ladore County.

‘Sheet lightning,’ suggested Van.

‘If you ask me,’ said Demon, turning on his chair to consider the
billowing drapery, ‘I’d guess it was a photographer’s flash. After all,
we have here a famous actress and a sensational acrobat.’

Ada ran to the window. From under the anxious magnolias a white-faced boy
flanked by two gaping handmaids stood aiming a camera at the harmless, gay
family group. But it was only a nocturnal mirage, not unusual in July.
Nobody was taking pictures except Perun, the unmentionable god of thunder.
(1.38)



In Pushkin’s Pesn’ o veshchem Olege (“The Song about Wise Oleg,” 1822)
the old sorcerer who predicts to Oleg that he will die because of his horse
obeys to Perun alone:



Из тёмного леса навстречу ему
Идёт вдохновенный кудесник,
Покорный Перуну старик одному,
Заветов грядущего вестник,
В мольбах и гаданьях проведший весь век.
И к мудрому старцу подъехал Олег.



Before the family dinner in “Ardis the Second” (1.38) Demon (Van’s and
Ada’s father) reads Van’s palm and predicts his own death in an airplane
disaster.



In his essay on Pushkin in “The Silhouettes of Russian Writers” Ayhenvald
pairs Ivan the Terrible with Mickiewicz:



Так Пушкин, не злопамятный к жизни, воздаё
т ей за благо. Не только в страдающую и бур
ную душу Грозного, не только в озлобленну
ю душу Мицкевича, но и в каждое человеческ
ое существо призывает он мир и успокоени
е. Просветлённый, благосклонный, самый бл
агодарный из поэтов и людей, он приветств
ует жизнь.



Describing his performance as Mascodagama (when he dances on his hands), Van
mentions a black shaggy cloak of the burka type that enveloped his
silhouette inquiétante:



A voluminous, black shaggy cloak of the burka type enveloped his silhouette
inquiétante (according to a female Sorbonne correspondent ― we’ve kept
all those cuttings) from neck to knee or what appeared to be those sections
of his body. (1.30)



At the picnic on Ada’s twelfth birthday, when Mlle Larivière’s reads her
story La rivière de diamants and Van walks on his hands for the first time,
Marina shows Van and Lucette “the exact pine and the exact spot on its
rugged red trunk where in old, very old days a magnetic telephone nested,
communicating with Ardis Hall:”



Marina’s contribution was more modest, but it too had its charm. She showed
Van and Lucette (the others knew all about it) the exact pine and the exact
spot on its rugged red trunk where in old, very old days a magnetic
telephone nested, communicating with Ardis Hall. After the banning of
‘currents and circuits,’ she said (rapidly but freely, with an actress’s
désinvolture pronouncing those not quite proper words ― while puzzled
Lucette tugged at the sleeve of Van, of Vanichka, who could explain
everything), her husband’s grandmother, an engineer of great genius,
‘tubed’ the Redmount rill (running just below the glade from a hill above
Ardis). She made it carry vibrational vibgyors (prismatic pulsations)
through a system of platinum segments. These produced, of course, only
one-way messages, and the installation and upkeep of the ‘drums’
(cylinders) cost, she said, a Jew’s eye, so that the idea was dropped,
however tempting the possibility of informing a picnicking Veen that his
house was on fire. (1.13)



“Vibrational vibgyors” bring to mind volny i vibratsii (waves and
vibrations) that, according to Ayhenvald, the world is sending to
Dostoevski:



Мир посылает ему все свои волны и вибраци
и, мучит его обнаженные нервы, мир раздраж
ает его. Порог раздражения лежит для него
очень низко.



Darkbloom (‘Notes to Ada’): vibgyor:
violet-indigo-blue-green-yellow-orange-red.



In Kuprin's story Chyornaya molniya ("The Black Lightning," 1913) the
forestry officer mentions multiple rainbows ("the fairy tale seven-colored
corridor") that he saw on the day of the terrible Messina earthquake (Dec.
28, 1908):



Глубокой зимою, в день ужасного мессинско
го землетрясения, утром, я был с гончими у
себя на Бильдине. И вот часов в десять - од
иннадцать на совершенно безоблачном небе
вдруг расцвела радуга. Она обоими концами
касалась горизонта, была необыкновенно я
рка и имела в ширину градусов сорок пять,
а в высоту двадцать - двадцать пять. Под не
й, такой же яркой, изгибалась другая радуг
а, но несколько слабее цветом, а дальше тр
етья, четвертая, пятая, и всё бледнее и бле
днее - какой-то сказочный семицветный кор
идор. Это продолжалось минут пятнадцать.
Потом радуги растаяли, набежали мгновенн
о, бог знает, откуда тучи и повалил сплошн
ой снежище.



Ada calls the period of her first separation with Van “our black rainbow:”



For their correspondence in the first period of separation, Van and Ada had
invented a code which they kept perfecting during the next fifteen months
after Van left Ardis. The entire period of that separation was to span
almost four years (‘our black rainbow,’ Ada termed it), from September,
1884 to June, 1888, with two brief interludes of intolerable bliss (in
August, 1885 and June, 1886) and a couple of chance meetings (‘through a
grille of rain’). (1.26)



Ada’s “black rainbow” brings to mind Baltrushaitis’ poem Chyornoe
solntse (“The Black Sun”). In his essay on Dostoevski in “The Silhouettes
of Russian Writers” Ayhenvald compares the author of “Crime and
Punishment” to chyornoe solntse stradaniya (“the black sun of
suffering”):



И гнетущей загадкой встаёт он перед нами,
как олицетворенная боль, как чёрное солнц
е страдания.



“The black sun” and Ada’s sun-and-shade games remind one of Zhidkoe
solntse (“The Liquid Sun,” 1912), Kuprin’s story whose hero attempts “to
catch the sun.” Among the scholars mentioned in “The Liquid Sun” is the
Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707-83):



- Знaчит, Гук, и Эйлер, и Юнг?..

- Дa, - прервaл меня лорд Чaльсбери, - и они, и
Френель, и Коши, и Мaлюс, и Гюйгенс, и дaже в
еликий Арaго - все они ошибaлись, рaссмaтрив
aя явление светa кaк одно из состояний миро
вого эфирa.



In geometry, the nine-point circle (that can be constructed for any given
triangle) is also known as Euler’s circle. In his essay on Baltrushaitis
Ayhenvald mentions geometrical figures and the world’s geometry:



Недаром помянуты здесь геометрические фи
гуры: есть у Балтрушайтиса мысль о том, чт
о, когда странник приближается к концу св
оих дорог, он видит пред собою "скал решён
ные отвесы", и здесь уже, у этой грани, "всё
в мире ясно, понято, раскрыто; земля и небо
- формула, скелет, в котором всё исчислено
и слито, и прежнего обмана больше нет". Не
значит ли это, что у последней черты исчез
ают обманы природы, вся её чувственность
и краски, и перед нами восстаёт рисунок ми
ра, его геометрия, его чертёж и схема? Где
были картины, там остался только именно р
исунок, разрез мироздания; и все определё
нные живые величины, все качественности б
ытия заменились бескровными алгебраичес
кими знаками. Слова онемели и распались н
а мёртвые буквы; зато - "всё ясно, понято, р
аскрыто", и Эвклидов ум может найти своё у
довлетворение.



According to Van, at the age of ten he could solve an Euler-type problem in
less than twenty minutes:



The year 1880 (Aqua was still alive ― somehow, somewhere!) was to prove to
be the most retentive and talented one in his long, too long, never too long
life. He was ten. His father had lingered in the West where the many-colored
mountains acted upon Van as they had on all young Russians of genius. He
could solve an Euler-type problem or learn by heart Pushkin’s ‘Headless
Horseman’ poem in less than twenty minutes. (1.28)



In our world The Headless Horseman is a novel by Captain Mayne Reid. Its
main character, the mustanger Maurice Gerald, is Irish. In his memoir essay
Belyi koridor (“The White Corridor,” 1937) Khodasevich mentions
Baltrushaitis and dve irlandskie p’esy (two Irish plays) that he brought
for discussion in the repertoire section:



Однажды мы в Театральном отделе просидел
и часов до пяти. Я сидел далеко от Каменев
ой. Вдруг получаю от неё записку. Пишет, чт
о заседание затянулось, а между тем у Балт
рушайтиса есть две ирландские пьесы, кото
рые необходимо экстренно прочесть и обсу
дить в репертуарной секции.



Меж тем собирались "наши". Пришёл Балтруша
йтис с папкой в руках (вот они где, ирландс
кие пьесы!), за ним - Чулков, Иван Новиков, В
олькенштейн.



In Khodasevich’s essay the white corridor is in Kremlin. In the last game
of Flavita (the Russian Scrabble) that Van, Ada and Lucette played together
Lucette’s letters formed the word “Kremlin” (that does not exist in
Russian):



‘Je ne peux rien faire,’ wailed Lucette, ‘mais rien ― with my idiotic
Buchstaben, REMNILK, LINKREM…’

‘Look,’ whispered Van, ‘c’est tout simple, shift those two syllables and
you get a fortress in ancient Muscovy.’

‘Oh, no,’ said Ada, wagging her finger at the height of her temple in a
way she had. ‘Oh, no. That pretty word does not exist in Russian. A
Frenchman invented it. There is no second syllable.’

‘Ruth for a little child?’ interposed Van.

‘Ruthless!’ cried Ada.

‘Well,’ said Van, ‘you can always make a little cream, KREM or KREME ―
or even better ― there’s KREMLI, which means Yukon prisons. Go through her
ORHIDEYA.’

‘Through her silly orchid,’ said Lucette. (1.36)



Pushkin is the author of Mednyi vsadnik (“The Bronze Horseman,” 1833). In
Pushkin’s poem the Bronze Horseman is Falconet’s equestrian monument of
Peter I and the action takes place in the fall of 1824, during the
disastrous St. Petersburg flood. In his poem Rossiya (“Russia,” 1924)
Voloshin describes the execution of the last Russian tsar’s family and says
that Peter’s circle is closed (petrovskiy zamknut krug):



И где-то на Урале средь лесов

Латышские солдаты и мадьяры

Расстреливают царскую семью

В сумятице поспешных отступлений:

Царевич на руках царя, одна

Царевна мечется, подушкой прикрываясь,

Царица выпрямилась у стены...

Потом их жгут и зарывают пепел.

Всё кончено. Петровский замкнут круг.



Describing certain aspects of Antiterran geography, Van mentions the Arctic
no longer vicious Circle:



Ved’ (‘it is, isn’t it’) sidesplitting to imagine that ‘Russia,’
instead of being a quaint synonym of Estoty, the American province extending
from the Arctic no longer vicious Circle to the United States proper, was on
Terra the name of a country, transferred as if by some sleight of land
across the ha-ha of a doubled ocean to the opposite hemisphere where it
sprawled over all of today’s Tartary, from Kurland to the Kuriles! (1.3)



Van calls Tartary “an independent inferno:”



Of course, Tartary, an independent inferno, which at the time spread from
the Baltic and Black seas to the Pacific Ocean, was touristically
unavailable, though Yalta and Altyn Tagh sounded strangely attractive...
(ibid.)



In Dante’s Divine Comedy the Inferno has nine circles. At the end of his
essay in “The Silhouettes of Russian Writers” Ayhenvald calls Dostoevski
zhivaya Bozhestvennaya komediya (“the live Divine Comedy”):



Трудна эта моральная задача, потому что с
ам он был точно живая Божественная комеди
я; в ней же нет сильнее и страшнее - Ада.



According to the critic, Inferno is the most powerful and terrible part of
“The Divine Comedy.” The last word in Ayhenvald’s essay on Dostoevski is
Ada (Gen. of ad, “hell, inferno”).



Alexey Sklyarenko


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