NABOKV-L post 0016537, Thu, 19 Jun 2008 21:38:44 -0700

Re: reply to Jansy (a corrected version)
Excuse me for butting in a bit late, I realize I must have missed the jumping off point, though I have been following along somewhat. A lot of this is very interesting, but I'm curious as to how all these allusions relate to the context of the Gory Mary paranthetical in the actual scene in Ada, which referrs to the mixture of Demon's and the Baron's blood, I believe, during their sword duel; the text suggests something Irish and swashbuckling. I suppose all the Pushkin makes sense (though it seems like all the "Mary" literary things discussed would make a reader, this reader anyway, think more of the novel Mary), because of his fatal duel, which Van echoes later on in his own duel...but other than a kind of allusive leap-frogging, I'm at a loss as to how all this packed in meaning heightens the nature of the scene. I am in fact one of those poor Americans to whom you referred who has only the one language, though I have read up on many thoughts about the texture of the
book, and dabbled in Russian literary history. That's why I'm sort of trying to grasp the method of Mr. Sklyarenko's thinking. It reminds me a little of Brian Boyd's Pale Fire book.

Alexey Sklyarenko <skylark05@MAIL.RU> wrote: (My reply to Jansy posted earlier was full of all kinds of mistakes, so I'm sending a corrected version. Note many changes and additions to my "new thoughts" on 'Gory Mary')

Thank you, Jansy, for your kind words and suggestions as to how better organize my data. I did something of what you propose (but no diagrams, colored ardises, etc.) in the Russian version of my article. Unfortunately, this article is too long (and my English is limited) to be translated into English. All I can do is write short commentaries about certain aspects discussed in my Russian piece (which will allow me to say what remained unsaid in the Russian text). I'm sorry to hear that these commentaries are insufficient. Well, apparently only a multi-lingual reader, with a knowledge of Russian history and literature, can enjoy Ada to the full.

BTW, here are several new thoughts about "Gory Mary" that seem to me relevant:

MARY = ARMY(I was probably the last person on the List to notice it)

Blok wrote a cycle of poems "Mary" (1908) that consisted of three pieces and was inspired by Pushkin's poem "I'm drinking to health of Mary" (1830). On the other hand, Blok's poem "Incognita" (1906) has the lines: "the drunkards, with the eyes of rabbits [s glazami krolikov], / shout: In vino veritas" and ends thus: "you are right, the drunken monster, / I know: the truth is in wine."

Mary's song in Pushkin's play "The Feast in the Time of the Plague" (1830) ends in the lines: A Edmonda ne zabudet / Dzhenni dazhe v nebesakh ("And Jenny won't forget Edmond even in heaven." In 1913, these lines were chosen for a poetic contest organized by the Moscow Literary Circle; poems composed by the participants had to contain these two lines by Pushkin; the contest was won by Marina Tsvetaeva, while the best poem was written by Khodasevich, who showed it to Bryusov, the the jury's chair man, only after the prize had gone to Tsvetaeva). It seems that, in Ada, Aqua and Lucette don't forget Van and Ada even after their deaths.

The heroine of Pushkin's Poltava (in the drafts of this poem Pushkin wrote anagrams of Anette Olenin's name and even jotted "Anette Pouchkine") is Maria, the young wife of old Masepa (actually, the name of Vasiliy Kochubey's daughter was Matryona; in his drafts Pushkin calls her Natal'ya and Anna). This poem has a scene of Kochubey's and Iskra's execution (by coincidence, Iskra, Russian for "spark," was the name of the Bolsheviks' first newspaper, Pravda's predecessor, that had Odoevsky's line for a motto: Iz iskry vozgoritsya plamya, "the flames will flare up from a spark"*) and its culmination is the description of the Poltava battle (in which a good amount of Russian and Swedish blood was spilled). Note that, among the many words one can extract from "Poltava" (a city in the East Ukraine), there is tolpa, Russian for "crowd." Cf. Poet i tolpa ("The poet and the crowd," 1828) Pushkin's famous poem, written in the form of a dialogue between the Poet and the crowd, that
ends in the Poet's words: "We were born for inspiration, / Sweet sounds and prayers" (note the epithet "sweet").

In the drafts of Poltava there are Pushkin's numerous ink drawings of hanged men.
At the bottom of the draft of Pushkin's poem Vinograd (1824) there is a pen drawing of seven elongated and translucent grapes.
At the bottom of the draft of the Andrey Shen'e poem ("André Chenier," 1825) there is Pushkin's self-portrait as a horse (Pushkin's equine-looking face, among several horse muzzles). Cf. d'Onsky, Demon Veen and Demon's London pal Paul Whinnier (2.8), all of whom are horses, in my opinion, even if they look like men. Speaking of horses, cf. also Khodasevich's article on Mayakovsky Decol'tirovannaya loshad' ("Decolletted horse," 1927).
Among Pushkin's self-portraits there is a horseman in burka (felt cloak) holding a lance, dating from the summer of 1829, when Pushkin traveled to the Transcaucasia with the regular army.
Among Pushkin's drawings there is a scene of an orgy (pen and ink, 1819).

Also, quite apart from 'Gory Mary,' Andro = narod = adorn = Adorno - O = orda + N (Adorno is the name of a comedian, who played in "Hate" (a movie) and who visits Ardis Hall: 1.41; cf. Theodor Adorno, 1903-69, German philosopher; orda is Russian for "horde;" cf. the Golden Horde).

*from the Decembrist Alexander Odoevsky's reply to Pushkin's poem Vo glubine Sibirskikh rud... ("In the depth of Sibirean mines," 1826) addressed to the Decembrists.

Alexey Sklyarenko
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