Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023612, Sun, 27 Jan 2013 11:37:06 -0200

Re: alibi in Ada
A. Sklyarenko sends: "A moment later, however, Van remarked: 'I think I'll take an Alibi - I mean an Albany - myself.' 'Please note, everybody,' said Ada, 'how voulu that slip was! I like a smoke when I go mushrooming, but when I'm back, this horrid tease insists I smell of some romantic Turk or Albanian met in the woods.' (Ada, 1.38) Chekhov (who loved to go mushrooming) is the aurhor of two monologues entitled O vrede tobaka (On the Harm of Tobacco, 1886, 1903).

Jansy Mello: A nice round of faintly disguised allusions to Turkish cigarettes ( like Quilty's "Camel/Dromes") and "Albany" cigarettes, that Ada seems to favour, instead of the rich smell of mushrooms, in contrast to what Nabokov, in his memoirs, lovingly remembered in connection to his excursions into the woods with his mother, when he describes the pleasurable thrill in his nostrils ( I think he described this quiver as something typically Russian).
Anyway, he quit smoking while he was still living in America. He wrote, to Vera: "Heavenly paradise, probably, is rather boring, and there's so much fluffy Seraphic eiderdown there that smoking is banned," "... mind you, sometimes the angels smoke, hiding it with their sleeves, and when the archangel comes, they throw the cigarettes away: that's when you get shooting stars."*

* Vladimir Nabokov's unpublished love letters are released, article by Shaun Walker, Moscow, 28 November 2010 (Cf. Vladimir Nabokov's unpublished love letters are released - News ...
www.independent.co.uk › ... › Books › News )
"Over half a century's worth of love letters from the novelist Vladimir Nabokov to his wife, Vera, reveal a new side to one of the 20th century's best-loved authors. More than 300 letters have been collected by the Nabokovs' son, Dmitry, and are to be published in English next year. A selection of the letters appeared last week, in their original Russian, in the Russian magazine Snob.The letters span the romance between Nabokov and Vera Slonim, later Vera Nabokov, from their meeting in Berlin in 1923, up until just before the author's death in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977.'The letters are very recognisably written in Nabokov's style,' says Sergey Nikolayevich, deputy editor-in-chief of Snob magazine.'They can't be compared to anything else in the culture of letters; they are part of the heritage of a great poet and writer'."

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