Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024374, Sun, 30 Jun 2013 21:58:57 +0300

LATH & Pushkin's Scene from Faust
The name of Vadim's grand-aunt, Baroness Bredow, and of Vadim's first cousin, Ada Bredow, seems to be connected to bred (delirium) in Annenski's poem "The Bow and the Strings" included in Kiparisovyi larets ("The Cypress Box", 1910). Annenski's Cypress Box is actually a coffin.

Grob (coffin) is mentioned by Mephistopheles in Pushkin's Stsena iz Fausta ("A Scene from Faust," 1825):

И всяк зевает да живёт —
И всех вас гроб, зевая, ждёт.
And everybody yawns but lives,
and a coffin, yawning, waits you all.

According to Mephistopheles, Faust called him out, like an harlequin, from the fire:

Но — помнится — тогда со скуки,
Как арлекина, из огня
Ты вызвал наконец меня.

In Pushkin's poem Mephistopheles says: ty bredish', Faust, nayavu (Faust, you are day-dreaming).

The name of Vadim's second wife, Annette Blagovo, seems to refer to blagovonie (fragrance) in Pushkin's poem Vertograd moey sestry... ("My sister's garden..." 1825):

Вертоград моей сестры,
Вертоград уединенный;
Чистый ключ у ней с горы
Не бежит запечатленный.
У меня плоды блестят
Наливные, золотые;
У меня бегут, шумят
Воды чистые, живые.
Нард, алой и киннамон
Благовонием богаты:
Лишь повеет аквилон,
И закаплют ароматы.

Garden of my sister,
secluded garden;
No clear spring there
runs down, captured from the mountains.
In my garden gleam fruits
golden and ready to eat;
In my garden runs noisily
clear, living water.
Spikenard, aloe and cinnamon,
rich in fragrance:
So long as the aquilon wind is blowing,
the aromas will spread!

Miss Vertograd is a character in VN's Ada, Demon's librarian. The novel's main characters, the lovers Van and Ada are brother and sister. Ada corresponds to Ardis (1970), Vadim's novel about a pair of passionate siblings.

Alexey Sklyarenko

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