NABOKV-L post 0019003, Mon, 28 Dec 2009 22:47:35 +0300

Vadim's parents in LATH: a query
Speaking of his childhood, the hero and narrator of VN's LATH says about his parents: "I saw my parents infrequently. They divorced and remarried and redivorced at such a rapid rate that had the custodians of my fortune been less alert, I might have been auctioned out finally to a pair of strangers of Swedish or Scottish descent, with sad bags under hungry eyes" (Part I, ch. 2).
On the other hand, Vadim Vadimovich affirms that his father (whose society nickname was Demon and who, like Demon Veen, Van's father in ADA, was portrayed by Vrubel) "was born in 1865, married in 1896, and died in a pistol duel with a young Frenchman on October 22, 1898, after a card-table fracas at Deauville, some resort in gray Normandy" (Part II, ch. 5). It means that Vadim (who was eighteen when the Bolshevist revolution "struck") was born, like VN, in 1899 - or, at least, not earlier than October 25, 1898, and therefore he couldn't see his father, who was dead by the time of his birth, at all.

There must be among the List members a few experts on LATH. How do they explain this obvious inconsistency? Is it connected in any way with the fact that Andrew Field, VN's first biographer, persisted in his belief that the Bolshevist coup occured in 1916 (in which case Vadim's year of birth would be 1898 or even 1897)?

Alexey Sklayrenko

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