Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025285, Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:58:27 -0300

RES: [NABOKV-L] Altar & Palermontovia in Ada
A. Sklyarenko: A small map of the European part of the British Commonwealth
- say, from Scoto-Scandinavia to the Riviera, Altar and Palermontovia - as
well as most of the U.S.A., from Estoty and Canady to Argentina, might be
quite thickly prickled with enameled red-cross-flag pins, marking, in her
War of the Worlds, Aqua's bivouacs. (1.3) In H. G. Wells's novel The War of
the Worlds (1898) Earth is ivaded by Martians.

Mars = arms = sram (shame; privy parts). "Palermontovia" blends Palermo, the
biggest city in Sicily, with Lermontov, the author of Demon (1829-39). As he
speaks to his son Van, Demon Veen mentions Kremlin and calls the new
kerosene distillary "styd i sram (a shame) of our county:"

JM: Palermo is mentioned in “Pale Fire”: “February and March in Zembla
(the two last of the four "white-nosed months," as we call them) used to be
pretty rough too [ ] It is true that, as usually happens to newcomers, I
was told I had chosen the worst winter in years — and this at the latitude
of Palermo. On one of my first mornings there, as I was preparing to leave
for college in the powerful red car I had just acquired, I noticed that Mr.
and Mrs. Shade, neither of whom I had yet met socially.”

March “revolutions” may be references to Mars, the god of war in Roman
mythology (corresponding to the Greek god Ares). One may also remember “the
ides of March” associated to an emperor’s assassination and calendric

As briefly selected from wiki sources: “The Ides of March (Latin: Idus
Martii or Idus Martiae) is a day on the Roman calendar that corresponds to
15 March. It was marked by several religious observances, and became
notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The
death of Caesar made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history, as
one of the events that marked the transition from the historical period
known as the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire. Although March (Martius)
was the third month of the Julian calendar, in the oldest Roman calendar it
was the first month of the year.”

Mars (Latin: Mārs, Martis)[ in ancient Roman religion and myth] was the god
of war and also an agricultural guardian, a combination characteristic of
early Rome. He was second in importance only to Jupiter and Neptune and he
was the most prominent of the military gods in the religion of the Roman
army. Most of his festivals were held in March, the month named for him
(Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for
military campaigning and farming.

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