Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025409, Fri, 23 May 2014 22:57:35 -0300

A follow up on another quote by Sklyarenko
"A formal photograph, on a separate page: Adochka, pretty and impure in her
flimsy, and Vanichka in gray-flannel suit, with slant-striped school tie,
facing the kimera (chimera, camera) side by side, at attention, he with the
shadow of a forced grin, she, expressionless." ("Ada") Alexey Sklyarenko
offers an interesting suggestion for "kimera" ("Kimera hints at Kim
Beauharnais, the kitchen boy and photographer at Ardis who spies on Van and
Ada and attempts to blackmail Ada.")

Every rereading of VN's writings, as expected, bring a renewed surprise.
This time, in addition to pointing out Kim (the photographer at Ardis),
passing through what we know about this mythical animal (cf. wiki: "The term
chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts
taken from various animals, or to describe anything composed of very
disparate parts, or perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible"), moving
beyond its metaphorical application by John Barth whose novel "Chimera" is
composed of three loosely connected novellas ( Dunyazadiad, Perseid and
Bellerophoniad), I had to stop at a curious information: Marina chose to
have two of her children posing for a photograph and excluded Lucette, while
comparing the couple with her brother Ivan, as pictured in an older
photograph, thereby joining together a (chimeric?) third element:" Marina
"had it framed and set up in her bedroom next to a picture of her brother at
twelve or fourteen clad in a bayronka (open shirt) and cupping a guinea pig
in his gowpen (hollowed hands); the three looked like siblings, with the
dead boy providing a vivisectional alibi. (2.7)*

Why is Lucette absent from the collection of framed family photographs?
Ivan's open shirt indicates Byron - and sibling incest. **

*- The two quotes from Ada were provided by A.Sklyarenko in his latest
posting to the VN-L
** - Cf.wiki: "Augusta's half-brother, George Gordon, Lord Byron, didn't
meet her until he went to Harrow School.[ ] Not having been brought up
together they were almost like strangers to each other. But they got on well
together and appear to have fallen in love with each other. When Byron's
marriage collapsed and he sailed away from England never to return, rumours
of incest, a very serious and scandalous offence, were rife [ ] There is
some evidence to support the incest accusation. The Honourable Augusta
Leigh's third daughter, born in spring of 1814, was christened Elizabeth
Medora Leigh.A few days after the birth, Byron went to his sister's house
Swynford Paddocks [ ]to see the child, and wrote, in a letter to Lady
Melbourne, his confidante: "Oh, but it is not an ape, and it is worth while"
(a child of an incestuous relationship was thought likely to be deformed)."

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