Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023461, Fri, 16 Nov 2012 12:39:42 +0300

A genuine encyclopedist [Chernyshevski], a kind of Voltaire - with the stress, true, on the first syllable... (The Gift, Chapter Four)

The hero of Turgenev's story My Neighbor Radilov (from A Hunter's Notes) accents the name Voltaire on the first syllable:

...всё к лучшему в здешнем мире, как сказал, кажется, Вoлтер, — прибавил он поспешно (all is for the best in this world below, as I think Voltaire said,’ he added hurriedly).

According to Strannolyubsky (Chernyshevski's biographer invented by VN), "there was a kind of mystic link between Turgenev and Chernyshevski."

Btw., Radilov is a widower whose wife died in childbirth. Turgenev's story ends in Radilov eloping with his sister-in-law Olga. In Ada, Lady Erminin (the mother of the twins Greg and Grace) committed suicide when she learnt of her husband's affair with her sister Ruth. In summer 1884 Aunt Ruth is pregnant (1.13). We do not hear of her (or of her child) in "Ardis the Second" (summer 1888) and have to assume that she probably died in childbirth. Colonel Erminin (the country gentleman who lives in the neighborhood of Ardis and who had liver problems after his wife's death) is now "practically mad." (1.38)

Alexey Sklyarenko

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