In his Index to Pale Fire Kinbote (Shades 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 Bryusovs novel Ognennyi angel (The Fiery Angel, 1908) and Angelina Blok (1892-1918), Alexander Bloks half-sister. Bloks cycle Yamby (The Iambs, 1907-14) is dedicated to the memory of Angelina Aleksandrovna Blok and has the epigraph from Juvenals Satires (I, 79), Fecit indignatio versum (Indignation gives inspiration to verse). In Pushkins 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, Shades almost finished poem needs two lines:

 

I was the shadow of the waxwing slain

By its own double in the windowpane. (1000-1001)

 

Bloks poem Dvoynik (The Double, 1909) ends in the lines:

 

ާا֧, ֧ҧ ѧާԧ

ӧ֧ڧ ߧ ԧݧѧէ ٧֧ܧѧݧߧ?

 

Perhaps I met myself

on a looking-glass smooth surface?

 

The last (unwritten) line of Shades poem (and Kinbotes 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:

 

! ߧ էا ݧҧӧڧ ߧѧէߧ.
ا֧ߧߧ ӧѧ ۧէק ާڧߧߧ ;
ݧڧ ԧݧ ާ֧ ݧ ݧէߧ,
ѧߧ ӧ֧, ܧ֧ ԧ.

 

ѧ: اڧӧ էڧ. ԧ ӧҧէߧ
է, ܧէ ӧݧ֧ק ֧ҧ ӧҧէߧ ,
ӧ֧֧ߧӧ ݧէ ݧҧڧާ է,
֧ҧ ߧѧԧѧ ٧ էӧڧ ҧݧѧԧէߧ.

 

ߧ ѧާ ֧ҧ. ѧ ӧ ӧڧ ;
֧ ا ֧ߧڧ ާ֧֧ ӧ .
ڧ էӧݧ֧ ݧ, ӧ٧ܧѧ֧ݧߧ էاߧڧ?

 

ӧݧ֧? ѧ ܧѧ ݧ ֧ԧ ҧѧߧڧ
ݧ֧ ߧ ѧݧѧ, ԧէ ӧ ԧߧ ԧڧ,
է֧ܧ ֧٧ӧ ܧݧ֧ҧݧ֧ ӧ ֧ߧاߧڧ.

 

Poet! do not cling to popular affection.
The temporary noise of ecstatic praises will pass;
You will hear the fools 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 fathers funeral and, in the penultimate stanza, mentions chyornyi brilliant (a black diamond):

 

ԧߧ ݧէ ֧ӧ -

ѧ اڧ٧ߧ ۧէק. ѧާߧڧ ҧ,

ӧ֧ڧ էڧ ߧѧ ҧ

ѧ ڧܧڧ֧ݧߧ - ԧҧ.

 

ӧ֧: ߧӧ ӧ֧ ӧ٧ۧէק

֧է ӧ֧ ߧ֧ѧߧ ܧݧ֧ߧڧ.

֧էѧ ݧѧӧڧ ܧѧاէ

ާ֧֧ݧߧ ܧҧݧ֧ߧߧ ԧ֧ߧڧ.

 

ӧ, ܧѧ , ܧҧݧ֧ߧ

ӧڧ ֧էѧ, ӧڧ ֧ӧڧ.

ӧ֧ - ӧ֧ߧߧ ާ֧ ӧۧߧ

ӧ֧ܧѧ֧ ߧ֧ڧ٧ҧ֧اߧ ѧ.

 

է֧ߧ էѧݧק - ߧѧ ӧ

ѧӧ֧ ߧѧ է֧ӧѧ:

֧٧֧ߧ ٧֧ӧѧ֧ ԧߧ֧ӧ,

٧֧ݧ ԧߧ֧ӧ - ֧ ާ֧.

 

ѧ٧ԧӧѧۧ اڧ٧ߧ, ܧѧ ѧߧ.

֧է ܧ ӧߧ֧ާݧ,

ڧ ҧ֧ܧۧӧ - ӧݧ է֧ާݧ;

ѧ ߧ - קߧ ҧڧݧݧڧѧߧ

 

ڧ ߧ ߧ֧ӧ֧էާ ѧߧߧ,

ѧӧѧߧ ҧ֧٧էѧߧߧ,

֧է ԧݧҧܧڧ ߧ֧է, - ܧ

ԧѧ ߧ ٧ѧק ܧڧܧ.

 

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 Ibsens 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 mans crown), such as humanism, virtues, impeccable honesty, rectitude, etc.:

 

֧ާ ٧ѧܧݧѧ֧ , ܧѧ ѧ٧ӧڧӧѧ ٧ӧ֧ߧ ֧էڧߧ ֧ է. է֧ݧߧ ܧ ӧܧԧ է ѧ٧ӧڧӧѧ է ݧا֧ߧߧԧ ڧ ֧է֧ݧ ٧ѧ֧ ӧߧӧ ԧݧѧ ܧاѧ֧ ާڧӧ ֧է; ߧ ܧѧاէ ܧ ٧֧֧ ݧѧԧѧ֧ ߧ֧ ߧӧ ߧ֧ ҧݧ֧ , ֧ߧ ҧ֧ܧߧ֧ߧ ֧, ݧڧߧ ѧԧ֧էڧ, اڧ٧ߧ֧ߧߧ ߧ֧էѧ, ѧէ֧ߧڧ . .; ֧ߧ, ߧѧܧߧ֧, ֧ ֧ ҧ֧ܧߧ֧ߧ ӧܧڧ ӧۧ, ܧ ӧ ӧ֧ާ ڧݧ, ܧѧ ݧڧ ѧݧާѧ٧ ֧ݧӧ֧֧ܧ ܧߧ (ܧѧ, ߧѧڧާ֧, ӧۧӧ ԧާѧߧߧ, էҧէ֧֧ݧ, ҧ֧٧֧ߧѧ ֧ߧ, ӧܧѧ ߧѧӧӧ֧ߧߧ .)

 

In Kinbotes Index to PF there are as many as four entries on Zemblan crown jewels:

 

Crown Jewels, 130, 681; see Hiding Place.

 

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:

 

, ѧѧ ܧݧ, ۧէק

ݧާѧ ӧ֧ԧ ֧ܧڧ!

                                      ڧ

 

ѧ קߧ ݧܧ էԧ

էߧڧާѧ֧ ާѧ.

֧٧, ܧӧѧ, էԧ

ݧڧߧݧ ҧѧݧѧԧѧ.

 

ڧ էߧ֧ӧߧ ݧ֧ܧڧߧ

ҧݧ֧էߧ֧, ֧ ݧڧ ֧.

ԧ ֧ ݧާҧڧߧ

ާ, ڧ ֧...

 

ѧڧ֧, ѧߧ ܧݧ!

ܧק, ѧӧ ֧ާ֧ݧ,

ҧ ڧڧߧ է֧

֧ ѧݧ ҧݧߧ ӧ֧ݧ!

 

ѧۧߧڧ է ߧڧܧݧ ݧ֧֧ߧ,

ߧѧէ ݧѧܧѧ, ֧, ڧէ,

ѧ ާڧ ٧ѧާܧڧ ֧֧

ܧݧڧ ߧ .

 

Bloks poem has the epigraph from Kean, ou Dsordre et Gnie (1836), a play by Alexandre Dumas pre. In Dumas novel The Three Musketeers (1844) dArtagnan, with the help of his friends, brings from London the diamond studs that Queen Anne gave to her lover, Duke of Buckingham. The novels characters include Milady de Winter (Athos former wife). The fleur-de-lis branded on Miladys shoulder brings to mind Fleur de Fyler, Queen Disas lady-in-waiting.

 

Lik Pyero (Pierrots face) mentioned by Blok in the poems second stanza brings to mind VNs story Lik (1939). Lik is an actor whose real name (in the storys 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:

 

ާڧѧ֧ ܧܧ ڧڧ:

٧ ѧާѧ֧ ӧ ا ѧާѧ.

 

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 VNs 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:

 

ܧڧ - ѧݧ, - ާ֧ԧ
ܧߧڧԧ ܧԧ ڧ.

 

Bashnya is Russian for tower. In VNs novel Dar (The Gift, 1937) Koncheyev publishes his review of Fyodors 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)

 

Bloks poem Balagan and his play Balaganchik (The Fairground Booth, 1906) bring to mind Shura Balaganov, a character in Ilf and Petrovs 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 (Vorobyaninovs 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 Petrovs novel brings to mind Bloks poem Dvenadtsat (The Twelve, 1918). Bloks 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)

 

Shades and Kinbotes real name seems to be Botkin; Sybils and Disas 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 Kinbotes Commentary). In his memoir essay Gumilyov and Blok (1926) Hodasevich quotes the words of Nadezhda Pavlovich, his and Bloks common friend, who told him that several days ago Blok (who was now on his deathbed) went mad:

 

ק ֧ҧ ٧ѧѧ ѧ ֧ ѧէ֧اէ ѧӧݧӧڧ, ҧ ߧѧ ݧܧ ڧ֧ݧߧڧ. ߧ ݧܧ ڧҧ֧اѧݧ ݧܧ ܧѧߧѧ اѧ ٧ѧѧ ݧק. ߧ ܧѧ٧ѧݧ ާߧ, ݧܧ ߧѧѧݧѧ ѧԧߧڧ. ѧ ӧէڧ, ѧ ֧ѧ ֧, ҧߧѧէקاڧӧѧ. ԧէ, ݧ֧էߧ֧ ѧߧڧ, ߧ էҧ֧اѧݧ ܧ ާߧ , ٧ѧݧ֧ҧӧѧ ݧ֧٧ѧާ, ܧѧ٧ѧݧ:
ڧ֧ԧ ӧ ߧ ٧ߧѧ֧֡ ߧڧܧާ ߧ ԧӧڧ֡ ا ߧ֧ܧݧܧ էߧ֧ۡ ק ާ!

 

In his memoir essay Byusov (1924) Hodasevich mentions Bryusovs hope that under the Bolsheviks he would be able to turn Russian literature na stolko-to gradusov (to so-and-so many degrees):

 

  ܧѧܧѧ ߧѧէ֧اէ ߧ , ڧڧ ݧڧ֧ѧ ҧէ֧ ܧѧ٧ѧߧ: " ѧܧ- ԧէ ӧ֧ߧ ܧ ݧڧ֧ѧ ߧ ݧܧ- ԧѧէ".

 

Shades 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 Bryusovs collection The Mirror of Shadows, Blok mentions yad (poison), napitok tvoy (your drink) and pole traurnogo zerkala (the field of funerary mirror):

 

ӧߧӧ, ӧߧӧ ӧ է ѧڧߧӧ֧ߧߧ

ԧݧ ߧ, ߧ

֧ݧڧ ӧ֧ ާ֧ ֧էڧߧӧ֧ߧߧ

ڧݧߧ ڧ ߧѧڧ ӧ.

 

ߧӧ ڧѧڧ է ߧ֧ڧӧ,

, ҧݧ, ݧѧէ ֧,

ڧ ܧߧڧԧ ֧֧ݧڧӧѧ,

ڧӧѧ ٧֧ܧѧݧ ֧ߧ֧...

 

, ߧ֧ܧѧ٧ѧߧߧ ާܧ ާѧ,

է֧ ҧק ѧ, ٧ާ֧ڧ ԧ,

ا֧ߧߧѧ ҧ ݧѧ

ݧڧ ܧߧ֧, ҧڧۧӧ !

 

اڧ٧ߧ ѧݧ, اԧݧ, ܧӧ֧ܧѧݧ,

է֧ ѧݧ ݧ֧ԧܧ ާ֧,

ݧ ѧߧԧ ٧֧ܧѧݧ

٧ѧߧ ߧ֧ ܧѧ...

 

ܧѧ ҧ֧ ݧ ӧ֧ݧ֧ߧ:

«, ԧ. ڧӧ, اڧӧ.

ܧѧ ܧݧ է ֧ݧ֧ߧ

ӧ ҧѧԧڧ ѧݧѧ ݧҧӧ».

 

The maternal grandfather of the leader of the Shadows, a courageous master builder, was poisoned.

 

In Kinbotes 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 Bryusovs words (the first thing he heard Bryusov say) perhaps there are several C maybe, eight C correct answers to any question:

 

ڧ ֧ߧ 1904 ., ߧӧڧ֧֧ߧߧ է֧ߧ, ݧڧ ӧ ڧާ֧ߧߧ ڧԧݧѧ֧ߧڧ. ߧڧާѧ ѧݧ ֧֧էߧ֧, ݧѧ ԧݧ ٧ڧߧ:

- ֧ߧ ӧ֧ߧ, ߧ ܧѧاէ ӧ ֧ ߧ էڧ, ߧ֧ܧݧܧ ڧڧߧߧ ӧ֧, ާا֧ ҧ C ӧ֧ާ. ӧ֧اէѧ էߧ ڧڧߧ, ާ ާ֧ڧӧ ڧԧߧڧ֧ ֧ ֧ݧ ֧ާ.

 

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:

 

ާ֧ է ݧ֧اڧ ܧӧڧ,

ܧݧ ֧ ݧܧ ާߧ!

ѧӧ, ߧ էӧڧ!

٧ߧѧ: ڧڧߧ ӧڧߧ.

 

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 Italyanskie stikhi (Italian Verses, 1909) Blok several times compares Florence to dymnyi iris (a smoky iris):

 

ݧ֧ߧڧ, ڧڧ ߧ֧اߧ;

ܧ ާڧݧ էڧ

ҧӧ էݧڧߧߧ, ҧ֧٧ߧѧէ֧اߧ,

֧ է֧ߧ ݧ ӧڧ ѧڧ?

 

, ݧѧէܧ ӧާߧڧ ҧ֧٧ߧѧէ֧اߧ:

֧ѧ اڧ ӧ֧ ԧݧ;

ۧ ӧ է֧ӧߧڧ ٧ߧ ߧ֧اߧ

ӧ֧ ѧ֧֧ է...

 

اէ֧ߧ ߧѧ ѧ٧ݧڧ,

֧֧ էѧݧߧڧ ܧѧ

ӧ էާߧ ڧڧ ҧէ֧ ߧڧ,

ѧ ߧ ѧߧߧ ާ.

 

 

ѧ էݧڧߧߧ, ҧ֧٧ާ֧اߧ

ѧߧݧѧ է ާ,

ڧ էާߧ, ڧڧ ߧ֧اߧ,

ݧѧԧӧߧڧ ,

֧֧ݧ ӧ֧ݧڧ ӧ ֧ܧ

ӧ٧էߧ ѧѧ,

ߧ ӧ֧ݧڧ ߧѧӧ֧ܧ

֧ ӧ֧֧ߧڧ ߧ֧ҧ֧ѧ,

ܧԧէ ֧էѧާ ٧ߧ,

ݧҧ ӧ֧֧ߧڧ ٧ߧ

ԧݧҧ ԧݧҧ

ߧ֧ק ާ֧ߧ ӧݧߧ...

 

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 VNs father planned to assassinate Milyukov (VDNs 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:

 

֧ߧ 1911 ԧէ . . ڧݧܧ ק ڧߧ֧֧ߧ֧ۧ ݧ֧ܧڧ ٧ѧԧݧѧӧڧ֧ "اקߧߧ ާڧ ܧѧ֧ߧڧ ӧا֧ߧڧ".

 

In Pale Fire Gradus kills Shade while trying to assassinate Kinbote (whose name means in Zemblan a kings 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):

 

ߧ ѧا֧ߧ ѧ:

֧ߧܧڧ ҧӧ է -

ӧ- ٧ӧ֧ߧ, - ߧ

ѧӧ֧ קާߧ ѧڧߧ:

٧֧ݧ ߧӧѧ է, -

ԧݧ ֧ӧѧѧ֧ ѧݧާѧ.

, ܧڧܧ էݧҧڧӧ,

ѧ ڧ ߧ֧է ߧ֧ݧڧӧ,

֧էѧߧ֧ - ާڧ ߧѧܧѧ!

ѧ ҧ֧, ߧ ٧ߧѧ էߧӧ֧ߧ,

اڧݧ اڧ٧ߧ ԧݧҧܧ:

ݧާѧ ԧڧ ڧ٧էѧݧ֧ܧ -

ҧ, ާ ԧߧ֧ӧߧ ާ, ܧѧާ֧ߧ!

 

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:

 

ԧ֧ߧ֧ӧ ӧ ӧݧҧݧ֧ߧ ܧѧ- ֧ߧէ֧ߧڧ٧ߧ. - ֧ڧѧݧڧ rendez-vous. էѧا ާѧݧ ֧ާ ֧ѧݧߧ ӧڧէѧߧڧ, ѧ ߧاߧ ֧ ӧܧڧ "ߧ", "֧ߧ ا֧ӧ֧ ݧҧӧ", ԧէ ܧѧ٧ѧ ѧ ҧ֧٧ߧѧ֧ݧߧ, ߧ ѧߧڧ, ֧ݧ֧ѧڧ ӧӧ. ߧ֧ԧ ݧҧӧ ݧڧ֧ѧߧ , ѧ ܧѧ٧ѧ, ڧѧѧާ.

 

In the last stanza of his poem Ravenna (the first poem in the Italian cycle) Blok mentions ten Danta s profilem orlinym (Dantes shade with aquiline profile) that sings to him about the New Life. Pushkins Sonet (1830) begins as follows: Surovyi Dant ne preziral soneta (Severe Dante didnt 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 VNs 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

 

Alexey Sklyarenko

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