NABOKV-L post 0018979, Sun, 20 Dec 2009 02:05:47 +0300

Subject
LATH and Mayakovsky
Date
Body
There is one thing about Nabokov's "late namesake" that I forgot to mention: he was born in Georgia (in a village called Bagdadi). Despite his being Russian, in one of his poems (Vladikavkaz - Tiflis, if I'm not mistaken) Mayakovsky proclaims himself to be gruzin, a Georgian.

In LATH (part 7, 3) Vadim Vadimovich wonders, if he does have some princely Caucasian blood. Among the names he probes when trying to remember his family name are two Georgian: Nablidze and Bonidze. Perhaps, his name is Blagidze? I quote from Part One (ch. 13) of LATH:
"The stroy that appeared among other faits-divers in the Paris dailies after an investigation by the police - whom Ivor and I contrived to mislead thoroughly - amounted to what follows - I translate: a White Russian, Wladimir Blagidze, alias Starov, who was subject to paroxysms of insanity, run amuck Friday night in the middle of a calm street, opened fire at random, and after killing with one pistol shot an English tourist Mrs. [name garbled], who chanced to be passing by, blew his brains out beside her."
As far as I remember, the alias of Iris' murderer, lieutenant Starov, isn't mentioned anywhere else in the novel. The maiden name of Vadim's second wife, Blagovo, begins like Blagidze, differing from it only in the "ovo" ending. Iris' maiden name, Black, has the same first three letters. I remember that D. B. Johnson discusses the BL sounds in the names of the characters in his article on LATH, but I don't have it at hand.

Btw., this may be irrelevant, but I notice that Notorov (the Bulgarian name tried on and rejected by V.V.) is an anagram of novotor, a native of Torzhok (old city in the province of Tver). Vor-novotor (vor is Russian for "thief")is a character in Saltykov-Shchedrin's The History of One City (1869), a founder of Glupov. On the other hand, novotor differs from novator (innovator) only in the middle vowel. Notorov is accented on the first syllable, novator on the second and novotor, on the third.

Alexey Sklyarenko

Search archive with Google:
http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q=site:listserv.ucsb.edu&HL=en

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com

Manage subscription options: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/