Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0026500, Mon, 5 Oct 2015 11:04:27 +0300

Nabokov-plus-Bog-plus-nikto anagram; blednyi ogon' (pale fire)
Nabokov + Bog + nikto + ladon' = bok + Botkin + Aldanov + ogon'

Ya - ili Bog - ili nikto (myself, or God, or nobody) is the closing line of
Lermontov's poem Net, ya ne Bayron, ya drugoy: ("No, I'm not Byron, I'm
another..." 1832):

Нет, я не Байрон, я другой,
Еще неведомый избранник,
Как он, гонимый миром странник,
Но только с русскою душой.
Я раньше начал, кончу ране,
Мой ум немного совершит;
В душе моей, как в океане,
Надежд разбитых груз лежит.
Кто может, океан угрюмый,
Твои изведать тайны? Кто
Толпе мои расскажет думы?
Я - или бог - или никто!

No, I'm not Byron; I am, yet,
Another choice for the sacred dole,
Like him - a persecuted stranger,
But only with a Russian soul.
I started earlier, shall finish earlier,

My mind won't accomplish much;
A load of wrecked hopes

Lies in my soul, like in an ocean.

The gloomy ocean, who can

come to know your secrets? Who

will tell the crowd my thoughts?

Myself - or God - or nobody!

Lord Byron is the main character in Aldanov's novel Mogila voina ("A
Soldier's Grave," 1939). In G. Ivanov's poem Kak v Gretsiyu Bayron, o, bez
sozhalen'ya: ("Like Byron to Greece, oh, without regret," 1927) blednyi
ogon' (a pale fire) is mentioned.

Alexey Sklyarenko

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