Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023339, Wed, 26 Sep 2012 22:36:00 +0300

Gamaliel-to-Gambrinus anagram
Gamaliel + brusnika + Don/dno/Dno + Bottom = Gambrinus + Lolita + Demon + Tobak

Gamaliel - on Antiterra, president of the United Americas
brusnika - Russ., red whortleberry, often served with ryabchik (hazel-hen): The roast hazel-hen (or rather its New World representative, locally called 'mountain grouse') was accompanied by preserved lingonberries (locally called 'mountain cranberries'). (Ada, 1.38)
Don - a river in Russia flowing to the sea of Azov (see also d'Onsky, Marina's lover, whose son has only one arm: 3.8); Sp., It., title prefixed to a male given name: cf. Don Juan, Don Quixote (cf. the movie Don Juan's Last Fling in which Ada played the gitanilla: 3.5; the actor Howard Hool complained that was made to play an impossible cross between two Dons: 3.6)
dno - Russ., bottom
Dno - the town in the province of Pskov where Nicholas II abdicated (March, 1917)
Bottom - John Bottom, the eponymous hero of Hodasevich's poem (1926), a tailor who was buried (as the unknown soldier in London) with another casualty's arm
Gambrinus - a mythical Flemish king, reputed inventor of beer; a story (1906) by Kuprin: its hero is the Jewish fiddler Sashka (virtuoso violinist very popular with the habitues of Gambrinus, a pub in a South Russian city), who loses his arm in the Russo-Japanese war (1904-5)
Lolita - a town in Texas (according to Vivian Darkbloom, it was renamed after the appearence of the notorious novel); from Demon's letter to Marina (1.2): You had gone to Boston to see an old aunt - a cliche, but the truth for the nonce - and I had gone to my aunt's ranch near Lolita, Texas.
Demon - Demon Veen, Van's and Ada's father
Tobak - Ivan Giovannovich Tobak, a shipowner, Cordula de Prey's first husband

'Everybody is un peu snob,' said Lucette. 'Your Cordula, who is also around, cannot forgive Shura Tobak, the violinist, for being her husband's neighbor in the telephone book. (3.3)

Some of those men he even knew by sight - they used to patrol his father's club in Manhattan whenever good Gamaliel (not reelected after his fourth term) happened to dine there in his informal gagality... Van remembered that Mr Alexander Screepatch, the new president of the United Americas, a plethoric Russian, had flown over to see King Victor. (3.4)

Sashka and Shura are forms of Alexander. Skripach (pronounced "screepatch") is Russian for "violinist, fiddler" (it comes from skripka, "violin").
Van and Ada are affected by sobbing violins in 'Ursus,' the best Franco-Estotian restaurant in Manhattan Major (2.8):

Presently, the long sobs of the violins began to affect and almost choke Van and Ada: a juvenile conditioning of romantic appeal, which at one moment forced tearful Ada to go and 'powder her nose' while Van stood up with a spasmodic sob, which he cursed but could not control.

Alexey Sklyarenko

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com

Manage subscription options: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/