Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024811, Wed, 20 Nov 2013 14:38:09 +0300

Turgenev in ADA
Blinking in the green sunshine under a birch tree, Ada explained to her passionate fortuneteller that the circular marblings she shared with Turgenev’s Katya, another innocent girl, were called ‘waltzes’ in California (‘because the senorita will dance all night’). (1.17)

From Chekhov's letter to Suvorin: The negative types of women where Turgenev is slightly caricaturing (Kukshin) or jesting (the descriptions of balls) are wonderfully drawn, and so successful, that, as the saying is, you can't pick a hole in it [komar nosa ne podtochit].

In Turgenev's Fathers and Children (Chapter XIV) it is Mme Kukshin who dances all night at the governor's ball:

She [Mme Kukshin] stayed later than anyone else at the ball, and at four o'clock in the morning she was dancing a polka-mazurka in Parisian style with Sitnikov. The governor's ball culminated in this edifying spectacle.

Alexey Sklyarenko

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