NABOKV-L post 0017771, Sat, 28 Feb 2009 17:04:03 -0300

Re: THOUGHTS: acrostrich]
Arbitrarily ordered excerpts:
A. Slyarenko: Accidental acrostrich is as strange and wonderful a bird, as doubtful asphodel is a flower. But, I confess, I too miss the point of DN's joke (or his serious remark, what do I know?). Does he think that there is an acrostic (or a beginning of the acrostic) in Derzhavin's last poem or that there is none?
Jerry Friedman: I think he was agreeing with Sergei that it's doubtful that the acrostic was intentional[...] I don't really associate ostriches with nightingales, but maybe DN has sung Richard Strauss's setting of "Die Liebe sass als Nachtigall".
A. Sklyarenko: Ruina chti meaning "the ruin of glory" is, of course, total nonsense [...].In the graveyard poetry, ruiny ("ruins") are a symbol of cemetry[...] (Dershavin) could have used the word ruina in the sense "tombstone" [...] By the way, there is Ruinen, a town in the Neverlands, in ADA (2.3)[...] Eidelman calls Oxyrynchus (the Greek name of archaeological site...) "the greatest rubbish dump in the world".
Jerry Friedman [ to C.K] - Thanks for the "sharps and flats" part.If it will help, Sergei Solvoiev (hence the nightingale) mistyped "accidental" as "accidential" and mispelled "acrostic" as "acrostich". (I must say that the spelling "acrostic" is unfair to learners of English. The Russian and French words make it obvious that the word comes from a Greek original with a chi ...)
Stan K-Bootle [ToC.K]: I take "accidential" as portmanteau for "essential accidental." We mathematicians prefer "martingales" to "nightingales":Martingale (probability theory), a stochastic process in which the conditional expectation of the next value, given the current and preceding values, is the current value. Any questions?

JM: Jerry reminded us of Richard Strauss's "Nachtigall" and "Solvoiev". By coincidence, a friend just sent me a link to Beethoven's "Die Ruinen von Athens" (actually, an adaptation into incidental music for the grand opening of a new imperial theatre in Budapest.)
Athenian and haughty imperial dreams, German and quasi-Ostrich composers and ruinen, sacred places turned into rubbish dumps to be once more restored. What value is to be attributed to images, such as the Phoenix or Sirin, as indicators of any cyclical recurrence? Coincidence as "accidential"?

Can anyone find, following Sklyarenkos indication of "The River of Time, ot the Emblematic Representation of the World History", the image of this allegoric map hanging in Derzhavin's room? That's another painting - similar to one in one of VN's very early short-stories and developed in "Glory" or, like the novel Lolita described in retrospect by VN as a painting... ( and sorry for the incomplete recollection of suspended quotes!) - worth looking into!

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