Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025594, Fri, 8 Aug 2014 09:52:33 -0700

Re: ENC: [NABOKV-L] kotik,
vyhuhol' & belladonna in Ada - and acetylcholine...
Dear Jansy,

Poisons and poisonings are a major theme in Ada which I wrote about many moons ago and can be found in the archives I'm sure. The name Durmanov itself is derived from the russian name of the hallucinogenic and lethal datura stramonium. 

I went so far as to posit the possibility that the Russian word for poison may be implied in the title, "Ada's poisons" in Russian being "yady Ady."


On Thursday, August 7, 2014 6:26 AM, Jansy Mello <jansy.mello@OUTLOOK.COM> wrote:

Alexey Sklyarenko:At the beginning of the next chapter of Klyuch an alkaloid of the belladonna type is mentioned:- Алкaлоидродa беллaдонны, - хмурясьиморщa лоб, повторилвслухЯценко.(The police believes that Fisher was poisoned. Fedosiev suspects Braun of the murder.) Don Pedro is a St. Petersburg journalist who becomes a movie man in emigration. On Antiterra, Belladonna is a movie magazine:Van had seen the picture [the Hollywood version of Four Sisters, as Chekhov's play is known on Antiterra] and had liked it. An Irish girl, the infinitely graceful and melancholy Lenore Colline -Oh! qui me rendra ma colline/Et le grand chêne and my colleen! //- harrowingly resembled Ada Ardis as photographed with her mother in Belladonna, a movie magazine which Greg Erminin had sent him, thinking it would delight him to see aunt and cousin, together, on a California patio just before the film was released.
(2.9)  'Your father,' added Lucette, 'paid a man from Belladonna to take pictures - but of course, real fame begins only when one's name appears in that cine-magazine's crossword puzzle. We all know it will never happen, never! Do you hate me now?'/ 'I don't,' he said, passing his hand over her sun-hot back and rubbing her coccyx to make pussy purr. 'Alas, I don't! I love you with a brother's love and maybe still more tenderly. Would you like me to order drinks?'(3.5)
Jansy Mello:I’d like to bring up again the curious and unsolved mystery created by VN’s referral to both “beladonna” and “acetylcholine” using an indirect reference to the nightshade plant (cf. the innocent nameof the beautiful lady (belladonna)“Lenore Colline”, or Colleen…). What is VN’s intention, here?
Belladona drops were used in the past bywomen who plannedto add an extra shine and darkness to their eyes, since they cause pupil dilatation. Beladonna is also a deadly poison, and its effectiveness derives from acting as an “acetylcholine receptor antagonist” (cf. cholinergic and anticholinergic drugs).

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