Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024797, Wed, 13 Nov 2013 12:52:02 -0200

Re: Milton & Chateaubriand in ADA
A.Sklyarenko:In his article "On Milton and Chateaubriand's translation of Paradise Lost" (1836, published next year in Sovremennik No. 5, the first issue of The Contemporary that came out after the poet's death) Pushkin mentions Walter Scott [ ] In 1791 Chateaubriand left Revolutionary France for North America. North America is the setting of Chateaubriand's exotic novels Les Natchez (written in 1793-99, publ. 1826), Atala (1801) and Rene (1802).In The Contemporary, 1836, vol. III, Pushkin published his review of John Tanner's A Narrative of the Captivity and Adventures of John Tanner during Thirty Years Residence Among the Indians (1830).* [ ] I notice that the date of Chekhov's death, July 4, is also the day when Chateaubriand died. If Chateaubriand had lived two months longer, he would have turned eighty.
*Pushkin read it in French: Memoires de John Tanner, ou trente annees dans les deserts de l’Amerique du Nord, traduits sur l’edition original, publiee a New York, par M. Ernest de Blosseville, auteur de l’histoire des Colonies penales de l’Angleterre dans l’Australie, vols. I, II. Paris, 1835.

Jansy Mello: There's also a reference to Ch. in Pale Fire (besides ADA, Lolita and...?): For CK note to line 691:
"(amid an ovation of crickets and that vortex of yellow and maroon butterflies that so pleased Chateaubriand on his arrival in America)"
and in a not very old posting (May,2013)

J.M: Robert Ropert's query about John Tanner mentioned Pushkin's "affection" for A Narrative of the Captivity and Adventures of John Tanner (1830). The name
Tanner seemed to ring a bell for me and I tried to check why [ ] perhaps, Pushkin's interest in the book could be derived from his critical point of view.: "As an essayist Pushkin was prolific but most of his writings remained in draft form...Chiefly Pushkin concentrated on literature and history, but he did not develop a systematic philosophical view – it has been said that Pushkin lacked "central vision".... The responsibility of the Decembrist Rebellion Pushkin shifted onto foreign
influences. He was fascinated by democratic republicanism but perceived the tendency to idealize the natural state of life, as exemplified both in the work of James Fenimore Cooper and in political discussion in the United States, as was shown in his essay "Dzhon Tenner" (1836, John Tanner)." [Some rights reserved Petri Liukkonen (author) & Ari Pesonen. Kuusankosken kaupunginkirjasto 2008] . America as seen through European eyes must have interested Nabokov, at least
there are suggestive paragraphs in "Lolita" (dealing with Chateaubriand, tigers and wide plains, if memory serves me right.)
C.Kunin: I did find several copies of the Tanner book (1830) for sale with a detailed description which I will copy below. I can only speculate that in the American "red Indian" Pushkin found something similar to the natives in his "Prisoner of the Caucasus." Kavkazkiy Plennik, I believe. I'm sure the Georgians would not
be thrilled at the comparison. VN was also fascinated by Chateaubriand who also wove romances about the aboriginals in America. Pushkin on Chateaubriand?
Anyone? A Narrative of the Captivity and Adventures of John Tanner (U.S. Interpreter at the Sault De Ste Marie), during Thirty Years Residence among the Indians in the Interior of North America. JAMES, Edwin (Edited) [TANNER, John].

btw: AS, can you please inform from where did you get the information that South American Viedma was founded by a Russian admiral? (the context places this town in the Argentine)

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