In his Index to Pale Fire Kinbote (Shade¡¯s mad commentator who imagines that he is Charles the Beloved, the last self-exiled king of Zembla) mentions a very courageous master builder who was poisoned, together with his three young apprentices:
Shadows, the, a regicidal organization which commissioned Gradus (q.v.) to assassinate the self-banished king; its leader's terrible name cannot be mentioned, even in the Index to the obscure work of a scholar; his maternal grandfather, a well-known and very courageous master builder, was hired by Thurgus the Turgid, around 1885, to make certain repairs in his quarters, and soon after that perished, poisoned in the royal kitchens, under mysterious circumstances, together with his three young apprentices whose pretty first names Yan, Yonny, and Angeling, are preserved in a ballad still to be heard in some of our wilder valleys.
The name of one of the three apprentices, Angeling, brings to mind Valeriy Bryusov¡¯s novel Ognennyi angel (¡°The Fiery Angel,¡± 1908) and Angelina Blok (1892-1918), Alexander Blok¡¯s half-sister. Blok¡¯s cycle Yamby (¡°The Iambs,¡± 1907-14) is dedicated to the memory of Angelina Aleksandrovna Blok and has the epigraph from Juvenal¡¯s Satires (I, 79), Fecit indignatio versum (Indignation gives inspiration to verse). In Pushkin¡¯s Eugene Onegin (One: VI: 3-8) Onegin ¡°had enough knowledge of Latin to make out the epigraphs, descant on Juvenal, put at the bottom of a letter vale, and he remembered, though not without fault, two lines from the Aeneid.¡± It seems that, to be completed, Shade¡¯s almost finished poem needs two lines:
I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
By its own double in the windowpane. (1000-1001)
Blok¡¯s poem Dvoynik (¡°The Double,¡± 1909) ends in the lines:
§¢§í§ä§î §Þ§à§Ø§Ö§ä, §ã§Ö§Ò§ñ §ã§Ñ§Þ§à§Ô§à
§Á §Ó§ã§ä§â§Ö§ä§Ú§Ý §ß§Ñ §Ô§Ý§Ñ§Õ§Ú §Ù§Ö§â§Ü§Ñ§Ý§î§ß§à§Û?
Perhaps I met myself
on a looking-glass¡¯ smooth surface?
The last (unwritten) line of Shade¡¯s poem (and Kinbote¡¯s entire apparatus criticus) is its coda. According to G. Ivanov, to his question ¡°does a sonnet need a coda¡± Blok replied that he did not know what a coda is. In his sonnet Poetu (¡°To a Poet,¡± 1830) Pushkin says that a poet should not ask any rewards for his noble feat because they are inside him:
§±§à§ï§ä! §ß§Ö §Õ§à§â§à§Ø§Ú §Ý§ð§Ò§à§Ó§Ú§ð §ß§Ñ§â§à§Õ§ß§à§Û.
§£§à§ã§ä§à§â§Ø§Ö§ß§ß§í§ç §á§à§ç§Ó§Ñ§Ý §á§â§à§Û§Õ§×§ä §Þ§Ú§ß§å§ä§ß§í§Û §ê§å§Þ;
§µ§ã§Ý§í§ê§Ú§ê§î §ã§å§Õ §Ô§Ý§å§á§è§Ñ §Ú §ã§Þ§Ö§ç §ä§à§Ý§á§í §ç§à§Ý§à§Õ§ß§à§Û,
§¯§à §ä§í §à§ã§ä§Ñ§ß§î§ã§ñ §ä§Ó§Ö§â§Õ, §ã§á§à§Ü§à§Ö§ß §Ú §å§Ô§â§ð§Þ.
§´§í §è§Ñ§â§î: §Ø§Ú§Ó§Ú §à§Õ§Ú§ß. §¥§à§â§à§Ô§à§ð §ã§Ó§à§Ò§à§Õ§ß§à§Û
§ª§Õ§Ú, §Ü§å§Õ§Ñ §Ó§Ý§Ö§é§×§ä §ä§Ö§Ò§ñ §ã§Ó§à§Ò§à§Õ§ß§í§Û §å§Þ,
§µ§ã§à§Ó§Ö§â§ê§Ö§ß§ã§ä§Ó§å§ñ §á§Ý§à§Õ§í §Ý§ð§Ò§Ú§Þ§í§ç §Õ§å§Þ,
§¯§Ö §ä§â§Ö§Ò§å§ñ §ß§Ñ§Ô§â§Ñ§Õ §Ù§Ñ §á§à§Õ§Ó§Ú§Ô §Ò§Ý§Ñ§Ô§à§â§à§Õ§ß§í§Û.
§°§ß§Ú §Ó §ã§Ñ§Þ§à§Þ §ä§Ö§Ò§Ö. §´§í §ã§Ñ§Þ §ã§Ó§à§Û §Ó§í§ã§ê§Ú§Û §ã§å§Õ;
§£§ã§Ö§ç §ã§ä§â§à§Ø§Ö §à§è§Ö§ß§Ú§ä§î §å§Þ§Ö§Ö§ê§î §ä§í §ã§Ó§à§Û §ä§â§å§Õ.
§´§í §Ú§Þ §Õ§à§Ó§à§Ý§Ö§ß §Ý§Ú, §Ó§Ù§í§ã§Ü§Ñ§ä§Ö§Ý§î§ß§í§Û §ç§å§Õ§à§Ø§ß§Ú§Ü?
§¥§à§Ó§à§Ý§Ö§ß? §´§Ñ§Ü §á§å§ã§Ü§Ñ§Û §ä§à§Ý§á§Ñ §Ö§Ô§à §Ò§â§Ñ§ß§Ú§ä
§ª §á§Ý§ð§Ö§ä §ß§Ñ §Ñ§Ý§ä§Ñ§â§î, §Ô§Õ§Ö §ä§Ó§à§Û §à§Ô§à§ß§î §Ô§à§â§Ú§ä,
§ª §Ó §Õ§Ö§ä§ã§Ü§à§Û §â§Ö§Ù§Ó§à§ã§ä§Ú §Ü§à§Ý§Ö§Ò§Ý§Ö§ä §ä§Ó§à§Û §ä§â§Ö§ß§à§Ø§ß§Ú§Ü.
Poet! do not cling to popular affection.
The temporary noise of ecstatic praises will pass;
You will hear the fool¡¯s judgment, the laugh of the cold crowd,
But you must remain firm, calm, and morose.
You are a king: live alone. By way of the free road
Go wherever your free mind draws you,
Perfecting the fruits of your beloved thoughts,
Not asking any rewards for your noble feat.
They are inside you. You are your highest judge;
More strictly than anyone can you appraise your work.
Are you satisfied with it, exacting artist?
Satisfied? Then let the crowd treat it harshly
And spit on the altar, where your fire burns
And your tripod oscillates with childlike friskiness.
(transl. Diana Senechal)
In the last poem of his cycle ¡°The Iambs,¡± V ogne i kholode trevog¡ (¡°In the fire and cold of anxieties¡¡± 1910-14), Blok says that he and his sister first met at their father¡¯s funeral and, in the penultimate stanza, mentions chyornyi brilliant (a black diamond):
§£ §à§Ô§ß§Ö §Ú §ç§à§Ý§à§Õ§Ö §ä§â§Ö§Ó§à§Ô -
§´§Ñ§Ü §Ø§Ú§Ù§ß§î §á§â§à§Û§Õ§×§ä. §©§Ñ§á§à§Þ§ß§Ú§Þ §à§Ò§Ñ,
§¹§ä§à §Ó§ã§ä§â§Ö§ä§Ú§ä§î§ã§ñ §ã§å§Õ§Ú§Ý §ß§Ñ§Þ §Ò§à§Ô
§£ §é§Ñ§ã §Ú§ã§Ü§å§á§Ú§ä§Ö§Ý§î§ß§í§Û - §å §Ô§â§à§Ò§Ñ.
§Á §Ó§Ö§â§ð: §ß§à§Ó§í§Û §Ó§Ö§Ü §Ó§Ù§à§Û§Õ§×§ä
§³§â§Ö§Õ§î §Ó§ã§Ö§ç §ß§Ö§ã§é§Ñ§ã§ä§ß§í§ç §á§à§Ü§à§Ý§Ö§ß§Ú§Û.
§¯§Ö§Õ§Ñ§â§à§Þ §ã§Ý§Ñ§Ó§Ú§ä §Ü§Ñ§Ø§Õ§í§Û §â§à§Õ
§³§Þ§Ö§â§ä§Ö§Ý§î§ß§à §à§ã§Ü§à§â§Ò§Ý§Ö§ß§ß§í§Û §Ô§Ö§ß§Ú§Û.
§ª §Ó§ã§Ö, §Ü§Ñ§Ü §à§ß, §à§ã§Ü§à§â§Ò§Ý§Ö§ß§í
§£ §ã§Ó§à§Ú§ç §ã§Ö§â§Õ§è§Ñ§ç, §Ó §ã§Ó§à§Ú§ç §á§Ö§Ó§å§é§Ú§ç.
§ª §Ó§ã§Ö§Þ - §ã§Ó§ñ§ë§Ö§ß§ß§í§Û §Þ§Ö§é §Ó§à§Û§ß§í
§³§Ó§Ö§â§Ü§Ñ§Ö§ä §Ó §ß§Ö§Ú§Ù§Ò§Ö§Ø§ß§í§ç §ä§å§é§Ñ§ç.
§±§å§ã§ä§î §Õ§Ö§ß§î §Õ§Ñ§Ý§×§Ü - §å §ß§Ñ§ã §Ó§ã§× §ä§Ö §Ø
§©§Ñ§Ó§Ö§ä§í §ð§ß§à§ê§Ñ§Þ §Ú §Õ§Ö§Ó§Ñ§Þ:
§±§â§Ö§Ù§â§Ö§ß§î§Ö §ã§à§Ù§â§Ö§Ó§Ñ§Ö§ä §Ô§ß§Ö§Ó§à§Þ,
§¡ §Ù§â§Ö§Ý§à§ã§ä§î §Ô§ß§Ö§Ó§Ñ - §Ö§ã§ä§î §Þ§ñ§ä§Ö§Ø.
§²§Ñ§Ù§í§Ô§â§í§Ó§Ñ§Û§ä§Ö §Ø§Ú§Ù§ß§î, §Ü§Ñ§Ü §æ§Ñ§ß§ä.
§³§Ö§â§Õ§è§Ñ §á§à§ï§ä§à§Ó §é§å§ä§Ü§à §Ó§ß§Ö§Þ§Ý§ð§ä,
§£ §Ú§ç §Ò§Ö§ã§á§à§Ü§à§Û§ã§ä§Ó§Ö - §Ó§à§Ý§Ú §Õ§â§Ö§Þ§Ý§ð§ä;
§´§Ñ§Ü §ä§à§é§ß§à - §é§×§â§ß§í§Û §Ò§â§Ú§Ý§Ý§Ú§Ñ§ß§ä
§³§á§Ú§ä §ã§ß§à§Þ §ß§Ö§Ó§Ö§Õ§à§Þ§í§Þ §Ú §ã§ä§â§Ñ§ß§ß§í§Þ,
§£ §à§é§Ñ§â§à§Ó§Ñ§ß§î§Ú §Ò§Ö§Ù§Õ§í§ç§Ñ§ß§ß§à§Þ,
§³§â§Ö§Õ§Ú §Ô§Ý§å§Ò§à§Ü§Ú§ç §ß§Ö§Õ§â, - §á§à§Ü§Ñ
§£ §Ô§à§â§Ñ§ç §ß§Ö §Ù§Ñ§á§à§×§ä §Ü§Ú§â§Ü§Ñ.
Blok portrayed his father as Demon in his long poem Vozmezdie (¡°Retribution,¡± 1910-21). The epigraph to ¡°Retribution,¡± Yunost¡¯ ¨C eto vozmezdie (¡°Youth is retribution¡±), is from Ibsen¡¯s play ¡°The Master Builder¡± (1892). In his Foreword to ¡°Retribution¡± Blok mentions those infinitely high qualities that once shined like luchshie almazy v chelovecheskoy korone (the best diamonds in man¡¯s crown), such as humanism, virtues, impeccable honesty, rectitude, etc.:
§´§Ö§Þ§Ñ §Ù§Ñ§Ü§Ý§ð§é§Ñ§Ö§ä§ã§ñ §Ó §ä§à§Þ, §Ü§Ñ§Ü §â§Ñ§Ù§Ó§Ú§Ó§Ñ§ð§ä§ã§ñ §Ù§Ó§Ö§ß§î§ñ §Ö§Õ§Ú§ß§à§Û §è§Ö§á§Ú §â§à§Õ§Ñ. §°§ä§Õ§Ö§Ý§î§ß§í§Ö §à§ä§á§â§í§ã§Ü§Ú §Ó§ã§ñ§Ü§à§Ô§à §â§à§Õ§Ñ §â§Ñ§Ù§Ó§Ú§Ó§Ñ§ð§ä§ã§ñ §Õ§à §á§à§Ý§à§Ø§Ö§ß§ß§à§Ô§à §Ú§Þ §á§â§Ö§Õ§Ö§Ý§Ñ §Ú §Ù§Ñ§ä§Ö§Þ §Ó§ß§à§Ó§î §á§à§Ô§Ý§à§ë§Ñ§ð§ä§ã§ñ §à§Ü§â§å§Ø§Ñ§ð§ë§Ö§Û §Þ§Ú§â§à§Ó§à§Û §ã§â§Ö§Õ§à§Û; §ß§à §Ó §Ü§Ñ§Ø§Õ§à§Þ §à§ä§á§â§í§ã§Ü§Ö §Ù§â§Ö§Ö§ä §Ú §à§ä§Ý§Ñ§Ô§Ñ§Ö§ä§ã§ñ §ß§Ö§é§ä§à §ß§à§Ó§à§Ö §Ú §ß§Ö§é§ä§à §Ò§à§Ý§Ö§Ö §à§ã§ä§â§à§Ö, §è§Ö§ß§à§ð §Ò§Ö§ã§Ü§à§ß§Ö§é§ß§í§ç §á§à§ä§Ö§â§î, §Ý§Ú§é§ß§í§ç §ä§â§Ñ§Ô§Ö§Õ§Ú§Û, §Ø§Ú§Ù§ß§Ö§ß§ß§í§ç §ß§Ö§å§Õ§Ñ§é, §á§Ñ§Õ§Ö§ß§Ú§Û §Ú §ä. §Õ.; §è§Ö§ß§à§ð, §ß§Ñ§Ü§à§ß§Ö§è, §á§à§ä§Ö§â§Ú §ä§Ö§ç §Ò§Ö§ã§Ü§à§ß§Ö§é§ß§à §Ó§í§ã§à§Ü§Ú§ç §ã§Ó§à§Û§ã§ä§Ó, §Ü§à§ä§à§â§í§Ö §Ó §ã§Ó§à§× §Ó§â§Ö§Þ§ñ §ã§Ú§ñ§Ý§Ú, §Ü§Ñ§Ü §Ý§å§é§ê§Ú§Ö §Ñ§Ý§Þ§Ñ§Ù§í §Ó §é§Ö§Ý§à§Ó§Ö§é§Ö§ã§Ü§à§Û §Ü§à§â§à§ß§Ö (§Ü§Ñ§Ü, §ß§Ñ§á§â§Ú§Þ§Ö§â, §ã§Ó§à§Û§ã§ä§Ó§Ñ §Ô§å§Þ§Ñ§ß§ß§í§Ö, §Õ§à§Ò§â§à§Õ§Ö§ä§Ö§Ý§Ú, §Ò§Ö§Ù§å§á§â§Ö§é§ß§Ñ§ñ §é§Ö§ã§ä§ß§à§ã§ä§î, §Ó§í§ã§à§Ü§Ñ§ñ §ß§â§Ñ§Ó§ã§ä§Ó§Ö§ß§ß§à§ã§ä§î §Ú §á§â§à§é.)
In Kinbote¡¯s Index to PF there are as many as four entries on Zemblan crown jewels:
Hiding place, potaynik (q.v.)
Potaynik, taynik (q.v.)
Taynik, Russ., secret place; see Crown Jewels.
This is not a dead end, as it might seem. In his poem Balagan (¡°The Show-Booth,¡± 1906) Blok mentions taynik dushi (the secret place of soul) into which a mould has penetrated:
§¯§å, §ã§ä§Ñ§â§Ñ§ñ §Ü§Ý§ñ§é§Ñ, §á§à§Û§Õ§×§Þ
§Ý§à§Þ§Ñ§ä§î §ã§Ó§à§Ö§Ô§à §º§Ö§Ü§ã§á§Ú§â§Ñ!
§¯§Ñ§Õ §é§×§â§ß§à§Û §ã§Ý§ñ§Ü§à§ä§î§ð §Õ§à§â§à§Ô§Ú
§¯§Ö §á§à§Õ§ß§Ú§Þ§Ñ§Ö§ä§ã§ñ §ä§å§Þ§Ñ§ß.
§£§Ö§Ù§å§ä, §á§à§Ü§â§ñ§ç§ä§í§Ó§Ñ§ñ, §Õ§â§à§Ô§Ú
§®§à§Û §á§à§Ý§Ú§ß§ñ§Ý§í§Û §Ò§Ñ§Ý§Ñ§Ô§Ñ§ß.
§§Ú§è§à §Õ§ß§Ö§Ó§ß§à§Ö §¡§â§Ý§Ö§Ü§Ú§ß§Ñ
§¦§ë§× §Ò§Ý§Ö§Õ§ß§Ö§Û, §é§Ö§Þ §Ý§Ú§Ü §±§î§Ö§â§à.
§ª §Ó §å§Ô§à§Ý §á§â§ñ§é§Ö§ä §¬§à§Ý§à§Þ§Ò§Ú§ß§Ñ
§§à§ç§Þ§à§ä§î§ñ, §ã§ê§Ú§ä§í§Ö §á§Ö§ã§ä§â§à...
§´§Ñ§ë§Ú§ä§Ö§ã§î, §ä§â§Ñ§å§â§ß§í§Ö §Ü§Ý§ñ§é§Ú!
§¡§Ü§ä§×§â§í, §á§â§Ñ§Ó§î§ä§Ö §â§Ö§Þ§Ö§ã§Ý§à,
§¹§ä§à§Ò§í §à§ä §Ú§ã§ä§Ú§ß§í §ç§à§Õ§ñ§é§Ö§Û
§£§ã§Ö§Þ §ã§ä§Ñ§Ý§à §Ò§à§Ý§î§ß§à §Ú §ã§Ó§Ö§ä§Ý§à!
§£ §ä§Ñ§Û§ß§Ú§Ü §Õ§å§ê§Ú §á§â§à§ß§Ú§Ü§Ý§Ñ §á§Ý§Ö§ã§Ö§ß§î,
§¯§à §ß§Ñ§Õ§à §á§Ý§Ñ§Ü§Ñ§ä§î, §á§Ö§ä§î, §Ú§Õ§ä§Ú,
§¹§ä§à§Ò §Ó §â§Ñ§Û §Þ§à§Ú§ç §Ù§Ñ§Þ§à§â§ã§Ü§Ú§ç §á§Ö§ã§Ö§ß
§°§ä§Ü§â§í§Ý§Ú§ã§î §ä§à§â§ß§í§Ö §á§å§ä§Ú.
Blok¡¯s poem has the epigraph from Kean, ou D¨¦sordre et G¨¦nie (1836), a play by Alexandre Dumas p¨¨re. In Dumas¡¯ novel ¡°The Three Musketeers¡± (1844) d¡¯Artagnan, with the help of his friends, brings from London the diamond studs that Queen Anne gave to her lover, Duke of Buckingham. The novel¡¯s characters include Milady de Winter (Athos¡¯ former wife). The fleur-de-lis branded on Milady¡¯s shoulder brings to mind Fleur de Fyler, Queen Disa¡¯s lady-in-waiting.
Lik Pyero (Pierrot¡¯s face) mentioned by Blok in the poem¡¯s second stanza brings to mind VN¡¯s story Lik (1939). Lik is an actor whose real name (in the story¡¯s Russian original) seems to be Kulikov. Blok is the author of Na pole Kulikovom (¡°In the Field of Kulikovo,¡± 1908), a cycle of five poems. In the battle of Kulikovo (1380) the Russians led by the Moscow Prince Dmitri defeated the Tartars led by Khan Mamai. In his poem O pravitelyakh (¡°On Rulers,¡± 1944) VN says:
§µ§Þ§Ú§â§Ñ§Ö§ä §ã§à §ã§Ü§å§Ü§Ú §Ú§ã§ä§à§â§Ú§Ü:
§Ù§Ñ §®§Ñ§Þ§Ñ§Ö§Þ §Ó§ã§× §ä§à§ä §Ø§Ö §®§Ñ§Þ§Ñ§Û.
The historian dies of sheer boredom:
on the heels of Mamai comes another Mamai.
In his poem VN mentions his late namesake, V. V. Mayakovski (whose style is parodied by VN). Mayakovski is the author of Oblako v shtanakh (¡°The Cloud in Trousers,¡± 1916), a poem whose title brings to mind VN¡¯s story Oblako, ozero, bashnya (¡°Cloud, Castle, Lake,¡± 1937). The three lakes in Pale Fire are Omega, Ozero and Zero. Hazel Shade drowned herself in Lake Omega. According to Sergey Solovyov, in the book of Russian verse, Pushkin is alpha and Bryusov omega:
§±§å§ê§Ü§Ú§ß - §Ñ§Ý§î§æ§Ñ, §ä§í - §à§Þ§Ö§Ô§Ñ
§£ §Ü§ß§Ú§Ô§Ö §â§å§ã§ã§Ü§à§Ô§à §ã§ä§Ú§ç§Ñ.
Bashnya is Russian for ¡°tower.¡± In VN¡¯s novel Dar (¡°The Gift,¡± 1937) Koncheyev publishes his review of Fyodor¡¯s ¡°Life of Chernyshevski¡± in the almanac Bashnya. In his Commentary Kinbote mentions Baron Bland, the Keeper of the Treasure, who jumped or fell from the North Tower of the royal palace in Onhava (Zemblan capital):
However, not all Russians are gloomy, and the two young experts from Moscow whom our new government engaged to locate the Zemblan crown jewels turned out to be positively rollicking. The Extremists were right in believing that Baron Bland, the Keeper of the Treasure, had succeeded in hiding those jewels before he jumped or fell from the North Tower; but they did not know he had had a helper and were wrong in thinking the jewels must be looked for in the palace which the gentle white-haired Bland had never left except to die. I may add, with pardonable satisfaction, that they were, and still are, cached in a totally different - and quite unexpected - corner of Zembla. (note to Line 681)
Blok¡¯s poem Balagan and his play Balaganchik (¡°The Fairground Booth,¡± 1906) bring to mind Shura Balaganov, a character in Ilf and Petrov¡¯s Zolotoy telyonok (¡°The Little Golden Calf,¡± 1931), the sequel novel to Dvenadtsat¡¯ stulyev (¡°The Twelve Chairs,¡± 1928). In ¡°The Twelve Chairs¡± the three main characters, Bender, Vorobyaninov and Father Fyodor, are the diamond hunters who look for the jewels that Mme Petukhov (Vorobyaninov¡¯s mother-in-law) concealed in a Hambs chair. According to Kinbote, in a conversation with him Shade mentioned ¡°those joint authors of genius Ilf and Petrov:¡±
Speaking of the Head of the bloated Russian Department, Prof. Pnin, a regular martinet in regard to his underlings (happily, Prof. Botkin, who taught in another department, was not subordinated to that grotesque "perfectionist"): "How odd that Russian intellectuals should lack all sense of humor when they have such marvelous humorists as Gogol, Dostoevski, Chekhov, Zoshchenko, and those joint authors of genius Ilf and Petrov." (note to Line 172)
The title of Ilf and Petrov¡¯s novel brings to mind Blok¡¯s poem Dvenadtsat¡¯ (¡°The Twelve,¡± 1918). Blok¡¯s Foreword to ¡°Retribution¡± is dated July 12, 1919. In 1919 VN left Russia forever on the Greek ship Nadezhda (Hope) and John Shade married Sybil Irondell (¡°Swallow¡±):
John Shade and Sybil Swallow (see note to line 247) were married in 1919, exactly three decades before King Charles wed Disa, Duchess of Payn. (note to Line 275)
Shade¡¯s and Kinbote¡¯s ¡°real¡± name seems to be Botkin; Sybil¡¯s and Disa¡¯s ¡°real¡± name seems to be Sofia Lastochkin. An American scholar of Russian descent, Professor Vsevolod Botkin went mad and became Shade, Kinbote and Gradus after the tragic death of his daughter Nadezhda (Hazel Shade of Kinbote¡¯s Commentary). In his memoir essay ¡°Gumilyov and Blok¡± (1926) Hodasevich quotes the words of Nadezhda Pavlovich, his and Blok¡¯s common friend, who told him that several days ago Blok (who was now on his deathbed) went mad:
§Á §á§à§ê§×§Ý §Ü §ã§Ö§Ò§Ö ¡ª §Ú §Ù§Ñ§ã§ä§Ñ§Ý §ä§Ñ§Þ §á§à§ï§ä§Ö§ã§ã§å §¯§Ñ§Õ§Ö§Ø§Õ§å §±§Ñ§Ó§Ý§à§Ó§Ú§é, §à§Ò§ë§å§ð §ß§Ñ§ê§å §ã §¢§Ý§à§Ü§à§Þ §á§â§Ú§ñ§ä§Ö§Ý§î§ß§Ú§è§å. §°§ß§Ñ §ä§à§Ý§î§Ü§à §é§ä§à §á§â§Ú§Ò§Ö§Ø§Ñ§Ý§Ñ §à§ä §¢§Ý§à§Ü§Ñ §Ü§â§Ñ§ã§ß§Ñ§ñ §à§ä §Ø§Ñ§â§í §Ú §Ù§Ñ§á§å§ç§ê§Ñ§ñ §à§ä §ã§Ý§×§Ù. §°§ß§Ñ §ã§Ü§Ñ§Ù§Ñ§Ý§Ñ §Þ§ß§Ö, §é§ä§à §å §¢§Ý§à§Ü§Ñ §ß§Ñ§é§Ñ§Ý§Ñ§ã§î §Ñ§Ô§à§ß§Ú§ñ. §¬§Ñ§Ü §Ó§à§Õ§Ú§ä§ã§ñ, §ñ §ã§ä§Ñ§Ý §å§ä§Ö§ê§Ñ§ä§î §Ö§×, §à§Ò§ß§Ñ§Õ§×§Ø§Ú§Ó§Ñ§ä§î. §´§à§Ô§Õ§Ñ, §Ó §á§à§ã§Ý§Ö§Õ§ß§Ö§Þ §à§ä§é§Ñ§ñ§ß§Ú§Ú, §à§ß§Ñ §á§à§Õ§Ò§Ö§Ø§Ñ§Ý§Ñ §Ü§à §Þ§ß§Ö §Ú, §Ù§Ñ§ç§Ý§Ö§Ò§í§Ó§Ñ§ñ§ã§î §ã§Ý§Ö§Ù§Ñ§Þ§Ú, §ã§Ü§Ñ§Ù§Ñ§Ý§Ñ:
¡ª §¯§Ú§é§Ö§Ô§à §Ó§í §ß§Ö §Ù§ß§Ñ§Ö§ä§Ö¡ §ß§Ú§Ü§à§Þ§å §ß§Ö §Ô§à§Ó§à§â§Ú§ä§Ö¡ §å§Ø§Ö §ß§Ö§ã§Ü§à§Ý§î§Ü§à §Õ§ß§Ö§Û¡ §à§ß §ã§à§ê§×§Ý §ã §å§Þ§Ñ!
In his memoir essay ¡°Byusov¡± (1924) Hodasevich mentions Bryusov¡¯s hope that under the Bolsheviks he would be able to turn Russian literature na stol¡¯ko-to gradusov (to so-and-so many degrees):
§¡ §Ü§Ñ§Ü§Ñ§ñ §ß§Ñ§Õ§Ö§Ø§Õ§Ñ §ß§Ñ §ä§à, §é§ä§à §Ó §Ú§ã§ä§à§â§Ú§Ú §Ý§Ú§ä§Ö§â§Ñ§ä§å§â§í §Ò§å§Õ§Ö§ä §ã§Ü§Ñ§Ù§Ñ§ß§à: "§Ó §ä§Ñ§Ü§à§Þ-§ä§à §Ô§à§Õ§å §á§à§Ó§Ö§â§ß§å§Ý §â§å§ã§ã§Ü§å§ð §Ý§Ú§ä§Ö§â§Ñ§ä§å§â§å §ß§Ñ §ã§ä§à§Ý§î§Ü§à-§ä§à §Ô§â§Ñ§Õ§å§ã§à§Ó".
Shade¡¯s murderer, Gradus was in the glass business. Bryusov is the author of Zerkalo teney (¡°The Mirror of Shadows,¡± 1912). In his epistle to Bryusov, written at receiving Bryusov¡¯s collection ¡°The Mirror of Shadows,¡± Blok mentions yad (poison), napitok tvoy (your drink) and pole traurnogo zerkala (the field of funerary mirror):
§ª §Ó§ß§à§Ó§î, §Ú §Ó§ß§à§Ó§î §ä§Ó§à§Û §Õ§å§ç §ä§Ñ§Ú§ß§ã§ä§Ó§Ö§ß§ß§í§Û
§£ §Ô§Ý§å§ç§à§Û §ß§à§é§Ú, §Ó §ß§à§é§Ú §á§å§ã§ä§à§Û
§£§Ö§Ý§Ú§ä §Ü §ä§Ó§à§Ö§Û §Þ§Ö§é§ä§Ö §Ö§Õ§Ú§ß§ã§ä§Ó§Ö§ß§ß§à§Û
§±§â§Ú§Ý§î§ß§å§ä§î §Ú §á§Ú§ä§î §ß§Ñ§á§Ú§ä§à§Ü §ä§Ó§à§Û.
§£§ß§à§Ó§î §á§â§Ú§é§Ñ§ã§ä§Ú§ã§î §Õ§å§ê§Ú §ß§Ö§Ú§ã§ä§à§Ó§à§Û,
§ª §ñ§Õ, §Ú §Ò§à§Ý§î, §Ú §ã§Ý§Ñ§Õ§à§ã§ä§î §á§Ö§Û,
§ª §ä§Ú§ç§à §Ü§ß§Ú§Ô§å §á§Ö§â§Ö§Ý§Ú§ã§ä§í§Ó§Ñ§Û,
§£§á§Ú§Ó§Ñ§ñ§ã§î §Ó §Ù§Ö§â§Ü§Ñ§Ý§à §ä§Ö§ß§Ö§Û...
§±§å§ã§ä§î, §ß§Ö§ã§Ü§Ñ§Ù§Ñ§ß§ß§à§Û §Þ§å§Ü§à§Û §Þ§å§é§Ñ§ñ,
§©§Õ§Ö§ã§î §Ò§î§×§ä§ã§ñ §ã§ä§â§Ñ§ã§ä§î, §Ù§Þ§Ö§Ú§ä§ã§ñ §Ô§â§å§ã§ä§î,
§£§à§ã§ä§à§â§Ø§Ö§ß§ß§Ñ§ñ §Ò§å§â§ñ §ã§Ý§å§é§Ñ§ñ
§³§å§Ý§Ú§ä §Ü§à§ß§Ö§è, §å§Ò§Ú§Û§ã§ä§Ó§à ¡ª §á§å§ã§ä§î!
§¹§ä§à §Ø§Ú§Ù§ß§î §á§í§ä§Ñ§Ý§Ñ, §Ø§Ô§Ý§Ñ, §Ü§à§Ó§Ö§â§Ü§Ñ§Ý§Ñ,
§©§Õ§Ö§ã§î §ã§ä§Ñ§Ý§à §Ý§Ö§Ô§Ü§à§ð §Þ§Ö§é§ä§à§Û,
§ª §á§à§Ý§Ö §ä§â§Ñ§å§â§ß§à§Ô§à §Ù§Ö§â§Ü§Ñ§Ý§Ñ
§±§â§à§Ù§â§Ñ§é§ß§à§Û §ã§ä§í§ß§Ö§ä §Ü§â§Ñ§ã§à§ä§à§Û...
§¡ §Ü§â§Ñ§ã§à§ä§à§Û §Ò§Ö§Ù §ã§Ý§à§Ó §á§à§Ó§Ö§Ý§Ö§ß§à:
«§¤§à§â§Ú, §Ô§à§â§Ú. §¨§Ú§Ó§Ú, §Ø§Ú§Ó§Ú.
§±§å§ã§Ü§Ñ§Û §Ü§â§í§Ý§à §Õ§å§ê§Ú §á§â§à§ã§ä§â§Ö§Ý§Ö§ß§à ¡ª
§¬§â§à§Ó§î §à§Ò§Ñ§Ô§â§Ú§ä §Ñ§Ý§ä§Ñ§â§î §Ý§ð§Ò§Ó§Ú».
The maternal grandfather of the leader of the Shadows, a courageous master builder, was poisoned.
In Kinbote¡¯s Index to PF after Taynik there is the following entry:
Thurgus the Third, surnamed The Turgid, K's grandfather, d. 1900 at seventy-five, after a long dull reign; sponge-bagcapped, and with only one medal on his Jaeger jacket, he liked to bicycle in the park; stout and bald, his nose like a congested plum, his martial mustache bristling with obsolete passion, garbed in a dressing gown of green silk, and carrying a flambeau in his raised hand, he used to meet, every night, during a short period in the middle-Eighties, his hooded mistress, Iris Acht (q.v.) midway between palace and theater in the secret passage later to be rediscovered by his grandson, 130.
Under Acht, Iris we read:
Acht, Iris, celebrated actress, d. 1888, a passionate and powerful woman, favorite of Thurgus the Third (q.v.), 130. She died officially by her own hand; unofficially, strangled in her dressing room by a fellow actor, a jealous young Gothlander, now, at ninety, the oldest, and least important, member of the Shadows (q.v.) group.
Acht is German for ¡°eight.¡± In his memoir essay ¡°Bryusov¡± Hodasevich describes his first visit to Bryusov in the fall of 1904 and quotes Bryusov¡¯s words (the first thing he heard Bryusov say) ¡°perhaps there are several ¨C maybe, eight ¨C correct answers to any question:¡±
§§Ú§ê§î §à§ã§Ö§ß§î§ð 1904 §Ô., §ß§à§Ó§à§Ú§ã§á§Ö§é§Ö§ß§ß§í§Þ §ã§ä§å§Õ§Ö§ß§ä§à§Þ, §á§à§Ý§å§é§Ú§Ý §ñ §à§ä §¢§â§ð§ã§à§Ó§Ñ §á§Ú§ã§î§Þ§Ö§ß§ß§à§Ö §á§â§Ú§Ô§Ý§Ñ§ê§Ö§ß§Ú§Ö. §³§ß§Ú§Þ§Ñ§ñ §á§Ñ§Ý§î§ä§à §Ó §á§Ö§â§Ö§Õ§ß§Ö§Û, §ñ §å§ã§Ý§í§ê§Ñ§Ý §Ô§à§Ý§à§ã §ç§à§Ù§ñ§Ú§ß§Ñ:
- §°§é§Ö§ß§î §Ó§Ö§â§à§ñ§ä§ß§à, §é§ä§à §ß§Ñ §Ü§Ñ§Ø§Õ§í§Û §Ó§à§á§â§à§ã §Ö§ã§ä§î §ß§Ö §à§Õ§Ú§ß, §Ñ §ß§Ö§ã§Ü§à§Ý§î§Ü§à §Ú§ã§ä§Ú§ß§ß§í§ç §à§ä§Ó§Ö§ä§à§Ó, §Þ§à§Ø§Ö§ä §Ò§í§ä§î ¨C §Ó§à§ã§Ö§Þ§î. §µ§ä§Ó§Ö§â§Ø§Õ§Ñ§ñ §à§Õ§ß§å §Ú§ã§ä§Ú§ß§å, §Þ§í §à§á§â§à§Þ§Ö§ä§é§Ú§Ó§à §Ú§Ô§ß§à§â§Ú§â§å§Ö§Þ §Ö§ë§× §è§Ö§Ý§í§ç §ã§Ö§Þ§î.
According to Bryusov, it is possible that, maintaining one truth, we ignore seven other truths. In the last stanza of his poem Neznakomka (¡°Incognita,¡± 1906) Blok says that a treasure lies in his soul and that istina (truth) is in wine:
§£ §Þ§à§Ö§Û §Õ§å§ê§Ö §Ý§Ö§Ø§Ú§ä §ã§à§Ü§â§à§Ó§Ú§ë§Ö,
§ª §Ü§Ý§ð§é §á§à§â§å§é§Ö§ß §ä§à§Ý§î§Ü§à §Þ§ß§Ö!
§´§í §á§â§Ñ§Ó§à, §á§î§ñ§ß§à§Ö §é§å§Õ§à§Ó§Ú§ë§Ö!
§Á §Ù§ß§Ñ§ð: §Ú§ã§ä§Ú§ß§Ñ §Ó §Ó§Ú§ß§Ö.
A treasure lies in my soul,
And the key belongs to me alone!
You are correct, you drunken fiend!
I know it: truth is in wine.
In Ital¡¯yanskie stikhi (¡°Italian Verses,¡± 1909) Blok several times compares Florence to dymnyi iris (a smoky iris):
§¶§Ý§à§â§Ö§ß§è§Ú§ñ, §ä§í §Ú§â§Ú§ã §ß§Ö§Ø§ß§í§Û;
§±§à §Ü§à§Þ §ä§à§Þ§Ú§Ý§ã§ñ §ñ §à§Õ§Ú§ß
§§ð§Ò§à§Ó§î§ð §Õ§Ý§Ú§ß§ß§à§Û, §Ò§Ö§Ù§ß§Ñ§Õ§Ö§Ø§ß§à§Û,
§£§Ö§ã§î §Õ§Ö§ß§î §Ó §á§í§Ý§Ú §ä§Ó§à§Ú§ç §¬§Ñ§ê§Ú§ß?
§°, §ã§Ý§Ñ§Õ§Ü§à §Ó§ã§á§à§Þ§ß§Ú§ä§î §Ò§Ö§Ù§ß§Ñ§Õ§Ö§Ø§ß§à§ã§ä§î:
§®§Ö§é§ä§Ñ§ä§î §Ú §Ø§Ú§ä§î §Ó §ä§Ó§à§Ö§Û §Ô§Ý§å§ê§Ú;
§µ§Û§ä§Ú §Ó §ä§Ó§à§Û §Õ§â§Ö§Ó§ß§Ú§Û §Ù§ß§à§Û §Ú §Ó §ß§Ö§Ø§ß§à§ã§ä§î
§³§Ó§à§Ö§Û §ã§ä§Ñ§â§Ö§ð§ë§Ö§Û §Õ§å§ê§Ú...
§¯§à §ã§å§Ø§Õ§Ö§ß§à §ß§Ñ§Þ §â§Ñ§Ù§Ý§å§é§Ú§ä§î§ã§ñ,
§ª §é§Ö§â§Ö§Ù §Õ§Ñ§Ý§î§ß§Ú§Ö §Ü§â§Ñ§ñ
§´§Ó§à§Û §Õ§í§Þ§ß§í§Û §Ú§â§Ú§ã §Ò§å§Õ§Ö§ä §ã§ß§Ú§ä§î§ã§ñ,
§¬§Ñ§Ü §ð§ß§à§ã§ä§î §â§Ñ§ß§ß§ñ§ñ §Þ§à§ñ.
§³§ä§â§Ñ§ã§ä§î§ð §Õ§Ý§Ú§ß§ß§à§Û, §Ò§Ö§Ù§Þ§ñ§ä§Ö§Ø§ß§à§Û
§©§Ñ§ß§ñ§Ý§Ñ§ã§î §Õ§å§ê§Ñ §Þ§à§ñ,
§ª§â§Ú§ã §Õ§í§Þ§ß§í§Û, §Ú§â§Ú§ã §ß§Ö§Ø§ß§í§Û,
§±§Ö§â§Ö§á§Ý§í§ä§î §Ó§Ö§Ý§Ú§ä §Ó§ã§Ö §â§Ö§Ü§Ú
§¯§Ñ §Ó§à§Ù§Õ§å§ê§ß§í§ç §á§Ñ§â§å§ã§Ñ§ç,
§µ§ä§à§ß§å§ä§î §Ó§Ö§Ý§Ú§ä §ß§Ñ§Ó§Ö§Ü§Ú
§£ §ä§Ö§ç §Ó§Ö§é§Ö§â§ß§Ú§ç §ß§Ö§Ò§Ö§ã§Ñ§ç,
§ª §Ü§à§Ô§Õ§Ñ §á§â§Ö§Õ§Ñ§Þ§ã§ñ §Ù§ß§à§ð,
§¤§à§Ý§å§Ò§à§Û §Ó§Ö§é§Ö§â§ß§Ú§Û §Ù§ß§à§Û
§£ §Ô§à§Ý§å§Ò§à§Ö §Ô§à§Ý§å§Ò§à§ð
§µ§ß§Ö§ã§×§ä §Þ§Ö§ß§ñ §Ó§à§Ý§ß§à§Û...
On March 28, 1922, VN was reading one of these poems to his mother, when the telephone rang and the caller informed him of the tragedy in a Berlin lecture hall. The terrorists who killed VN¡¯s father planned to assassinate Milyukov (VDN¡¯s friend and colleague who gave a lecture in Berlin). In his Foreword to ¡°Retribution¡± Blok mentions Milyukov who in spring of 1911 read a most interesting lecture entitled ¡°The Armed World and Arms Reduction:¡±
§£§Ö§ã§ß§à§Û 1911 §Ô§à§Õ§Ñ §±. §¯. §®§Ú§Ý§ð§Ü§à§Ó §á§â§à§é§×§Ý §Ú§ß§ä§Ö§â§Ö§ã§ß§Ö§Û§ê§å§ð §Ý§Ö§Ü§è§Ú§ð §á§à§Õ §Ù§Ñ§Ô§Ý§Ñ§Ó§Ú§Ö§Þ "§£§à§à§â§å§Ø§×§ß§ß§í§Û §Þ§Ú§â §Ú §ã§à§Ü§â§Ñ§ë§Ö§ß§Ú§Ö §Ó§à§à§â§å§Ø§Ö§ß§Ú§Û".
In Pale Fire Gradus kills Shade while trying to assassinate Kinbote (whose name means in Zemblan ¡°a king¡¯s destroyer;¡± according to Kinbote, a king who sinks his identity in the mirror of exile is in a sense just that).
In the Introduction to ¡°Retribution¡± Blok says that sons are reflected in their fathers, repeats twice the word almaz (the diamond) and mentions his gnevnyi yamb (angry iamb):
§³§í§ß§í §à§ä§â§Ñ§Ø§Ö§ß§í §Ó §à§ä§è§Ñ§ç:
§¬§à§â§à§ä§Ö§ß§î§Ü§Ú§Û §à§Ò§â§í§Ó§à§Ü §â§à§Õ§Ñ -
§¥§Ó§Ñ-§ä§â§Ú §Ù§Ó§Ö§ß§Ñ, - §Ú §å§Ø §ñ§ã§ß§í
§©§Ñ§Ó§Ö§ä§í §ä§×§Þ§ß§à§Û §ã§ä§Ñ§â§Ú§ß§í:
§³§à§Ù§â§Ö§Ý§Ñ §ß§à§Ó§Ñ§ñ §á§à§â§à§Õ§Ñ, -
§µ§Ô§Ý§î §á§â§Ö§Ó§â§Ñ§ë§Ñ§Ö§ä§ã§ñ §Ó §Ñ§Ý§Þ§Ñ§Ù.
§°§ß, §á§à§Õ §Ü§Ú§â§Ü§à§Û §ä§â§å§Õ§à§Ý§ð§Ò§Ú§Ó§à§Û,
§£§à§ã§ã§ä§Ñ§Ó §Ú§Ù §ß§Ö§Õ§â §ß§Ö§ä§à§â§à§á§Ý§Ú§Ó§à,
§±§â§Ö§Õ§ã§ä§Ñ§ß§Ö§ä - §Þ§Ú§â§å §ß§Ñ§á§à§Ü§Ñ§Ù!
§´§Ñ§Ü §Ò§Ö§Û, §ß§Ö §Ù§ß§Ñ§Û §à§ä§Õ§à§ç§ß§à§Ó§Ö§ß§î§ñ,
§±§å§ã§ä§î §Ø§Ú§Ý§Ñ §Ø§Ú§Ù§ß§Ú §Ô§Ý§å§Ò§à§Ü§Ñ:
§¡§Ý§Þ§Ñ§Ù §Ô§à§â§Ú§ä §Ú§Ù§Õ§Ñ§Ý§Ö§Ü§Ñ -
§¥§â§à§Ò§Ú, §Þ§à§Û §Ô§ß§Ö§Ó§ß§í§Û §ñ§Þ§Ò, §Ü§Ñ§Þ§Ö§ß§î§ñ!
Thurgus the Third, surnamed the Turgid, clearly hints at Turgenev, the author of Ottsy i deti (¡°Fathers and Sons,¡± 1862) and Dym (¡°Smoke,¡± 1867). In his essay on Turgenev (in ¡°The Silhouettes of Russian Writers¡±) Ayhenvald calls Turgenev ¡°a specialist of rendez-vous:¡±
§µ §´§å§â§Ô§Ö§ß§Ö§Ó§Ñ §Ó§ã§Ö §Ó§Ý§ð§Ò§Ý§Ö§ß§í §Ü§Ñ§Ü-§ä§à §ä§Ö§ß§Õ§Ö§ß§è§Ú§à§Ù§ß§à. §ª §à§ß - §ã§á§Ö§è§Ú§Ñ§Ý§Ú§ã§ä rendez-vous. §ª §Õ§Ñ§Ø§Ö §Þ§Ñ§Ý§à §Ö§Þ§å §â§Ö§Ñ§Ý§î§ß§í§ç §ã§Ó§Ú§Õ§Ñ§ß§Ú§Û, §ä§Ñ§Ü §é§ä§à §ß§å§Ø§ß§í §Ö§ë§× §Ú §Ó§ã§ñ§Ü§Ú§Ö "§³§ß§í", §Ú "§±§Ö§ã§ß§Ú §ä§à§â§Ø§Ö§ã§ä§Ó§å§ð§ë§Ö§Û §Ý§ð§Ò§Ó§Ú", §Ô§Õ§Ö §á§à§Ü§Ñ§Ù§Ñ§Ý §à§ß §ã§ä§â§Ñ§ã§ä§î §Ò§Ö§ã§ã§à§Ù§ß§Ñ§ä§Ö§Ý§î§ß§å§ð, §ß§Ñ §â§Ñ§ã§ã§ä§à§ñ§ß§Ú§Ú, §ä§Ö§Ý§Ö§á§Ñ§ä§Ú§ð §é§å§Ó§ã§ä§Ó§Ñ. §µ §ß§Ö§Ô§à §Ý§ð§Ò§à§Ó§î §Ý§Ú§ä§Ö§â§Ñ§ä§å§â§ß§Ñ §Ú, §ä§Ñ§Ü §ã§Ü§Ñ§Ù§Ñ§ä§î, §ã §è§Ú§ä§Ñ§ä§Ñ§Þ§Ú.
In the last stanza of his poem Ravenna (the first poem in the Italian cycle) Blok mentions ten¡¯ Danta s profilem orlinym (Dante¡¯s shade with aquiline profile) that sings to him about the New Life. Pushkin¡¯s Sonet (1830) begins as follows: Surovyi Dant ne preziral soneta (Severe Dante didn¡¯t scorn the sonnet). Reader, do not scorn the coda (particularly, the Index to Pale Fire where the Zemblan crown jewels are hidden)!
sonnet + iris = sonet + Sirin = son/nos + tri + seni = ston + ire + sin = on/no + sinister
sonet ¨C sonnet
Sirin ¨C VN¡¯s Russian nom de plume
son ¨C sleep; dream
nos ¨C nose
tri ¨C 3
seni ¨C entrance-hall
ston ¨C moan; cf. Disa, Duchess of Payn, of Great Payn and Moan
on ¨C he
no ¨C but
sinister ¨C cf. Bend Sinister (1947), a novel by VN