Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023693, Thu, 21 Feb 2013 23:01:09 +0300

Deans, local politicians, national statesmen, and of course the current ruler of the Golden Horde were pictured as mascodagamas by topical humorists. (Ada, 1.30)

Mascodagamas (plural of Mascodagama, Van's stage name) rhymes with Valdegamas. Marques de Valdegamas (Juan-Francisco-Maria de la Salud-Donoso-Cortes, Marques de Valdegamas, Spanish statesman) and masks are mentioned by Herzen in S togo berega (From the Other Shore, 1850):

But the Marques de Valdegamas bravely set the soldier by the side of the priest, the guardroom next to the altar, the gospel which remits sins beside the army manual which shoots dead for offences. The time has come for us to sing a ‘Requiem’ or, rather, a ‘Te Deum’. This is the end of the church and the end of the army.
At last the masks are off. (chapter VIII, "Donoso-Cortes, Marques de Valdegamas, and Julian, Roman Emperor")

In Gorky's The Life of Klim Samgin a character calls Herzen krasnobay s togo berega ("phrase-monger/story-teller from the other shore"). Klim Samgin is a namesake of Baron Klim Avidov (Marina's former lover who gave her children a set of Flavita, 1.36). Baron Klim Avidov is an anagram of Vladimir Nabokov. In Drugie berega ("Other Shores", the Russian version of Speak, Memory) VN mentions Herzen, the talented author of Byloe i dumy (Bygones and Meditations) after whom the Bolshaya Morskaya street in St. Petersburg was renamed.

One of the first Russian emigres, Herzen settled in London (where he founded The Free Russian Press and published Kolokol* and other periodicals). London is Great Britain's capital. According to Pushkin (see my previous posts), "England is the fatherland of cartoon and parody."

*The Bell

Alexey Sklyarenko

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