Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0026116, Sat, 11 Apr 2015 04:39:02 +0300

Cloud, Castle, Lake as part of VN's tetraptych
Mayakovski's poem Oblako v shtanakh ("Trousered Cloud," 1915) is subtitled "a tetraptych." VN's stories Oblako, ozero, bashnya ("Cloud, Castle, Lake," 1937), Istreblenie tiranov ("Tyrants Destroyed," 1938), Vasiliy Shishkov (1939) and Volshebnik ("The Enchanter," 1939) form a tetraptych. VN's plays Sobytie ("The Event," 1938) and Izobretenie Val'sa ("The Waltz Invention," 1938) form a diptych. The tetraptych and the diptych are signed with the phrase na bokovuyu ([time to] go to bed) that occurs in Sobytie and in Volshebnik.

In Pushkin's Skazka o zolotom petushke ("Fairy Tale about the Golden Cockerel," 1834) the cockerel on the spire cries to Tsar Dadon:

Tsarstvuy, lyozha na boku!"
("Reign, lying on your side!")

The golden cockerel was given to Tsar Dadon by a stargazer (i. e. astrologer). In "The Event" Meshaev the Second (who lives in the country and breeds hens) toyed with occultism. Antonina Pavlovna's story that she reads at her birthday party is from her cycle Ozaryonnye ozyora ("Illumined Lakes").

In "The Waltz Invention" the Colonel says that he set wrist watch correctly, po bashne (by the tower):

Министр. Извиню. О-го -- без десяти двенадцать.
Полковник. Ваши отстают. У меня без двух, и я поставил их правильно, по башне.
Министр. Нет, вы ошибаетесь. Мои верны, как карманное солнышко.
Полковник. Не будем спорить, сейчас услышим, как пробьёт. (Act One)

According to the Minister, his watch is as punctual as the little pocket sun.

In "The Enchanter" the protagonist has a designer watch with no hands.

Alexey Sklyarenko

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