Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023639, Wed, 6 Feb 2013 05:51:38 -0800

Re: War and Peace
Dear Jansy and the List,

Napoleon? 1815? Beethoven! (anyone interested in my new interpretation of
Beethoven's 9th Symphony, the first movement thereof actually, may write to me
off the List)

Also my response to you regarding Ada/V Sirin never got sent - please, all of
you who are still using AT&T please dump them - sell stock, find another
internet provider - after being without internet/email for weeks on end, I
finally switched to Verizon (VZ on the NYSE).

I will copy my response to you below:

Dear Jansy,

How lovely to hear from you again. The title is not 'frost' or 'sleet' as I had
guessed, but 'cluster' [but note the interesting confluence of r, s and t that I
guessed at] (as in grapes) which is very appropriate for the small collection of
delicate poems contained in what was actually a pamphlet. Thanks to Michael
Juliar for this information. Alexey Sklyarenko also provided additional
bibliographical information. I am also appending some links below that Matt Roth
contributed. *

Who is Ada? Literally 'she who must be obeyed' or 'the lady from Hell.' Who is
Ada? [ah, da!] A poisoner? certainly. A femme fatale? Most definitely. Greedy?
Insatiable? Yes, she is all those things. But she is also a great scientist, a
consummate gameswoman (see the current film version of Anna Karenina to see how
she and Van played a much more interesting game than Scrabble) and most
important, she is much loved - firstly by her brother, who only fantasizes a
sexual relationship with the one woman who was not in love with him - but by
everyone who encounters her. The clue to her power is her name. A palindrome, a
pun, a miror image and a mirror.

Who hates her? Her author. Why? I have no idea.

ps She also goes by other names Mrs Percy de Prey, and is she not also perhaps
Mrs Ronald Oranger? In other words, is she not immortal? Lilith herself perhaps?
By the way, some may recall the phrase 'she who must be obeyed' from the
wonderful old Mystery! series on tv - Rumpole of the Bailey, with its main theme
in gavotte form for a bassoon. They don't make them like that any more. Anyway,
'she who must be obeyed,' is reference to a potboiler by the author of 'King
Solomon's Mines' whose name escapes me at the moment. Very popular in his day,
now, alas an obscurity.

*Hi Carolyn,
Nice to hear from you on the list. I’m sorry to learr that you have been laid
up, appropriately or not, but glad you are back and, I hope, feeling better.
Wonderful to hear of your acquisitions. I found a rather incomplete link to
some info on Grozd’
here: http://books.google.com/books?id=2-2RiEvaZGQC&pg=PA203&lpg=PA203&dq=grozd+sirin+berlin&source=bl&ots=PihWtYihZU&sig=f55TAAQ-Ap7f4ieDzed9tNS0QhM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=d1QJUejvAZGK9QTX7IDoBQ&ved=0CEUQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=grozd%20sirin%20berlin&f=false

Boyd has a little on it in The Russian Years, but not much.

Also a good bit
here: http://books.google.com/books?id=sVpkLlvNXuEC&pg=PA16&dq=%22the+cluster%22+sirin&hl=en&sa=X&ei=jFYJUa3nEZGI9QSlnYCgAw&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22the%20cluster%22%20sirin&f=false

But perhaps you knew all this already or I mistranslated your French and sent
this for no good reason anyway. C’est etc.

All the best,

Matthew Roth
Associate Professor and Chair, English Department
Messiah College
On Jan 30, 2013, at 12:22 PM, Jansy wrote:

Jansy Mello: Welcome back to the List, Carolyn.[C.Kunin greets "Dorogoi Alexey &
List" and adds a private joke to JM, often nicknamed "Etsy etsy etsy" by her,
after Dmitri Nabokov once complained about her use of "etc etc" in an ancient
N-L posting in which she vaguely praised his talents. C.K informs that VN's
complete pen name is V.Sirin, following the entry in Grozd'(frost? a ne moroz)'
that was signed by V Sirin, Berlin, 1923.[ ]. The sad Chekhovian news is that
his great translator, Michael Heim died three months ago in Santa Monica.
How interesting, is the title of the book "Frost"? Are they poems?

From: Jansy <jansy@AETERN.US>
Sent: Tue, February 5, 2013 5:04:49 PM
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] War and Peace

PS: I checked 1815 using wikipedia.
Treaty of Paris of 1815, was signed on 20 November 1815 following the defeat
and second abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte. In February, Napoleon had escaped
from his exile on Elba; he entered Paris on 20 March, beginning the Hundred
Days of his restored rule. Four days after France's defeat in the Battle of
Waterloo, Napoleon was persuaded to abdicate again, on 22 June. King Louis
XVIII, who had fled the country when Napoleon arrived in Paris, took the throne
for a second time on 8 July.In addition to the definitive peace treaty between
France and Great Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia, there were four
additional conventions and the act confirming the neutrality of Switzerland
signed on the same day
-----Mensagem Original-----
>De: Jansy
>Enviada em: segunda-feira, 4 de fevereiro de 2013 22:41
>Assunto: Re: [NABOKV-L] War and Peace
>A.Sklyarenko: "Among the servants, fifteen at least were of French
>extraction — descendants of immigrants who had settled in America after
>England had annexed their beautiful and unfortunate country in 1815. (1.40)"
>Because Napoleon is not mentioned in Ada, we can assume that he did not exist
>on Antiterra (Earth's twin planet on which Ada is set). Anyway, Josephine de
>Beauharnais (Napoleon's first wife) is known on Demonia as "Queen Josephine"
>(1.5) The Napoleonic Wars were described by Tolstoy in War and Peace
>(1862-69). I wonder if anybody has pointed out that the novel's title was
>borrowed from Pushkin's Boris Godunov (Night. Cell in the Monastery of
>Jansy Mello: There are several references to "Wellington" in ADA to point
>to trees, mountain, city, Grace Erminin's married surname (no wellies,
>Wouldn't these indicate Napoleon's existence in Antiterra?
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