Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025664, Thu, 4 Sep 2014 01:44:53 +0300

Mr Bred & Pompeianella in Ada
After helping her to nurse Andrey at Agavia Ranch through a couple of acrimonious years (she begrudged Ada every poor little hour devoted to collecting, mounting, and rearing!), and then taking exception to Ada's choosing the famous and excellent Grotonovich Clinic (for her husband's endless periods of treatment) instead of Princess Alashin's select sanatorium, Dorothy Vinelander retired to a subarctic monastery town (Ilemna, now Novostabia) where eventually she married a Mr Brod or Bred, tender and passionate, dark and handsome, who traveled in eucharistials and other sacramental objects throughout the Severniya Territorii and who subsequently was to direct, and still may be directing half a century later, archeological reconstructions at Goreloe (the 'Lyaskan Herculanum'); what treasures he dug up in matrimony is another question. (3.8)

Bred ("Delirium," 1955) is a novel by Aldanov. In Natasha's dream Tiberius (Roman emperor in 14-37) is a teacher in her Kiev school who tries to dissuade her from marrying Shell:

Сон был радостный, бессмысленный, немного беспокойный. И вдруг в другое нелепое ворвался император Тиберий. Он был теперь учителем в её киевской школе. Читал об отзовистах и принимал в ней близкое участие. "Не выходи за него замуж! -- сказал император, -- разве ты не видишь, что он обманщик? Ты сама вначале так думала, напрасно ты это теперь скрываешь. Беги от него поскорее, подальше". ("Delirium," chapter VI)

Pompeii and Herculaneum were destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 in the reign of Titus (79-81). Titus Andronicus (1588-93) is a tragedy by Shakespeare. Andronicus brings to mind Andrey Andreevich Vinelander, Dorothy's brother who marries Ada Veen (Van's "Pompeianella," 1.1).

Alexey Sklyarenko

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