Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024311, Sun, 2 Jun 2013 15:07:15 +0300

Lute & L disaster in Ada
The mysterious L disaster happened on Antiterra in the beau milieu of the past century. (1.3)

L is the initial of Lute (as Paris is also known on Antiterra). In his "Letters of a Russian Traveller" (a letter of October 2, 1789, from Geneva) Karamzin mentions a riddle: "What is au milieu de Paris? (the correct answer is "r"):

что находится au milieu de Paris (в середине Парижа)? Барон, который недавно приехал из Парижа, отвечал: «Город – люди – камни – грязь». Над каждым ответом смеялись и наконец объявили, что au milieu do Paris находится «r».

And what is in the middle of Ada? - "d". D is Dostoevski's initial. The mock execution of Dostoevski and the Petrashevskians took place on January 3, 1850 (NS), in the beau milieu of the 19th century. January 3, 1876, is Lucette's birthday.

Ada is addressed to young laymen and lemans. (1.3) Karamzin was one of the first in the series of Russian writers who roamed above Leman Lake. (Btw., Dostoevski wrote his "Idiot" in Geneva).

Alexey Sklyarenko

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