Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024329, Thu, 13 Jun 2013 08:21:27 -0700

Re: Harlequin Jaloux
Dear Alexey,

This is all very interesting but how is it possible that, as you write in your
btw, that Sirin published Petersburg (or anything else for that matter) in 1913?

your friend,

p.s. For those with moolah in their pockets burning proverbial holes, which is
to say ab so lute ly no body, Peter Harrington of London is offering three
Nabokovian tidbits ranging from just under six pounds to thousands and
thousands. The one that tempts me is a copy of Lolita (which edition I forgot to
check) dedicated to Anita Loos of all people. It wasn't the most expensive of
the three either ...

From: Alexey Sklyarenko <skylark1970@MAIL.RU>
Sent: Thu, June 13, 2013 6:51:31 AM
Subject: [NABOKV-L] Harlequin Jaloux

The hero and narrator of Look at the Harlequins!, Vadim Vadimovich
Blonsky feels that his life is "the non-identical twin, a parody, an inferior
variant of another man's life, somewhere on this or another earth." (LATH, 2.3)

In his poem Svoemu dvoyniku (Leonidu Ledyanomu), To my Double (Leonid
Ledyanoy), 1917, Andrey Bely calls his own double "Harlequin Jaloux":

Не публицист и не философ,
А просто Harlequin Jaloux,
Вы – погрузили ряд вопросов
В казуистическую мглу...

Leonid Ledyanoy ("Mr. Isaac Icecold") is the hero of Bely's autobiographical
tale Zapiski chudaka ("An Eccentric's Notes", 1922). According to the author,
his tale isсатира на самого себя, на пережитое лично (a sitire on myself, on my
personal experience).

Bely's tale was fiercely criticized by Osip Mandelshtam: Танцующая проза
«Записок чудака» — высшая школа литературной самовлюбленности. Рассказать о
себе, вывернуть себя наизнанку, показать себя в четвёртом, пятом, шестом
измерении... «Записки чудака» свидетельствуют о культурной отсталости и
запущенности берлинской провинции и художественном одичании даже лучших её
представителей. All the same, Mandelshtam does not forget that Bely is the
author of Petersburg: А над Белым смеяться не хочется и грех: он написал

"Vadim Vadimovich" sounds almost like "Vladimir Vladimirovich" in slovenly
ponunciation, but this name and patronymic also reminds one of Apollon
Apollonovich Ableukhov, a character in Bely's Petersburg. Ableukhov's prototype,
the Ober-Procurator of the Holy Synod K. P. Pobedonostsev (1827-1907), is
mentioned by Blok in his verse epic Vozmezdie ("Retribution," 1910-21):
Pobedonostev nad Rossiey / Prostyor sovinye kryla (Pobedonostsev over Russia /
Has spread his owlish wings).

Btw., Bely'sPetersburg was published by "Sirin" in 1913-14. In Chapter Five of
LATH Vadim Vadimovich describes his visit to Leningrad (St. Petersburg's name
in 1924-91). Ninel (a friend of Vadim's second wife Annette Blagovo) is Lenin

Alexey Sklyarenko
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