Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024956, Wed, 1 Jan 2014 14:56:25 -0200

Re: vzvoden', Lunin & Dmitri de Midoff in LATH

A.Sklyarenko: The narrator and main harlequin in LATH, Vadim Vadimovich is the author of Polnolunie (Plenilune, 1929), a novella in verse, and of a garland of sonnets. Voloshin is the author of Lunaria (1913), a garland of sonnets.[ ] In her memoir essay on Voloshin, Zhivoe o zhivom ("A Living Word about a Living Man," 1932), Marina Tsvetaev expresses satisfaction that Voloshin (who says, in one of his poems, that he himself is fire) died at noon, in his hour[ ]:According to the memoirist, noon is an hour as mystical as midnight.[ ] Vadim's first wife, Iris Black, is associated with irises[ ] . His second wife, Annette Blagovo, is also linked to flowers (mainly, roses). The society nickname of Vadim's father, Demon, reminds one of Tsvetaev's "Demon de Midi." In LATH Vadim mentions Dmitri de Midoff: "The house [of the "Boyan" publishing firm] had belonged to the Merlin de Malaune family and had been acquired at the turn of the century by a Russian cosmopolitan, Dmitri de Midoff who with his friend S. I. Stepanov established there the headquarters of an antidespotic conspiracy. (2.4)" The name Stepanov brings to mind Stephane Mallarme, the author of L'apres-midi d'un faune (1876). .

Jansy Mello:
I was thrilled by A.Sklyarenko's links related to Victor Hugo (Lute, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Esmeralda). This Romantic flare led me not to the more emphatic "faune" [Mallarme, Debussy's ballet music and VN's omnipresent fascination with Nijinski] , but to Alain-Fournier and his novel "Le Grand Meaulnes," concerning "Merlin de Malaune".

May I inquire into the associative welter related to French works and Greek or latinate terms? Such as fr. L plenilunium, fr. plenus full + -i- + -lunium (fr. luna moon) for "full moon" that AS by chance has associated more with "flowers" (garlands, Irises) than with poems. For my part, this comment is mainly related to my pleasure of having discovered one day that the more usual word for a collection of poems, an "anthology," is also related to flowers - and to other deeply felt rememorations. [ Cf. anthology (n.) 1630s, "collection of poetry," from Latin anthologia, from Greek anthologia "collection of small poems and epigrams by several authors," literally "flower-gathering," from anthos "a flower" (see anther) + logia "collection, collecting," from legein "gather" (see lecture (n.)). Modern sense (which emerged in Late Greek) is metaphoric, "flowers" of verse, small poems by various writers gathered together.http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=anthology ]

Wikipedia informed me new things about the "Angelus" (I'm not a Catholic)*, a call for prayers that I had associated to twilight hours, not only because of its more common depiction during the sunset (as in Jean-Francois Millet's painting), but also because, during my childhood in Rio, almost every radio in the city was tuned to the six o'clock hour of the Angelus, with Bach or Schubert's "Ave Maria" ringing from window to window.
Although it's a "mystical hour" for the Christians, its reverberations must be different from Marina Tsvetaev's interpretation of the noon hours and midnight.

In this reminiscing trip I was also reminded (by random words, such as Demon, Anna Karina, Marianne, and not by VN's novels directly) of "Le Demon de onze heures", later "Pierrot le Fou" (1965), a movie directed by Jean-Luc Godard in which a bored parisian Ferdinand Griffon (Jean-Paul Belmondo) leaves a brilliant party he'd been attending with his wife, and returns home where a nanny, Marianne Renoir (Anna Karina) was hired to look after his sleeping children. Later on the two elope for an adventurous destination close to the Mediterranean. btw: only after I checked informations related to Godard's movie did I realize that its "Demon" is linked to the "eleven hours," not to midnight or midday!

So, our ED Steve Blackwell turned up in the first hours of our New Year, already brandishing an editor's baby scythe!
My best cheers and thanks to both VN-L editors.


* - The Angelus (Latin for "angel") is a Christian devotion in memory of the Incarnation [ ] practised by reciting as versicle and response three Biblical verses describing the mystery; alternating with the salutation "Hail Mary!"[ ]The devotion was traditionally recited in Roman Catholic churches, convents, and monasteries three times daily: 6:00 am, noon, and 6:00 pm (many churches still follow the devotion, and some practice it at home). The devotion is also used by some Anglican and Lutheran churches.The Angelus is usually accompanied by the ringing of the Angelus bell, which is a call to prayer and to spread good-will to everyone on Earth. The angel referred to in the prayer is Gabriel, a messenger of God who revealed to Mary that she would conceive a child to be born the Son of God.(Luke 1:26-38).

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