Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025957, Wed, 21 Jan 2015 23:07:10 +0300

solution of The Waltz Invention
...Suvorin's first wife was assassinated by her lover (who committed suicide). Tolstoy learned the details of the murder from Kramskoy, the artist who made a portrait (two portraits, to be precise) of the writer. Lyubov's husband Aleksey Maksimovich Troshcheykin (whose name and patronymic hint at Chekhov's and Tolstoy's friend Gorky) is a portrait painter. Gorky is the author of Mat' ("The Mother," 1906).

Barbashin and Barboshin seem to be two incarnations of the devil. The solution of The Event is the saying Ne tak strashen chyort kak ego malyuyut (the devil is not as terrible as he is painted). The solution of The Waltz Invention seems to be our national Oedipean oath, ebyona mat' (fuck your mother).

Alexey Sklyarenko

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