Alexey Sklyarenko:"... Before the sixty-year-old somnambulist could go on procreating, he was clapped into a monastery for fifteen years as required by an ancient Russian law. (1.21)."
Jansy Mello:  Just a little note about Ivan Ivanov's being "clapped into a monastery". Might there be any reference to the common STD "gonorrhea," or "the clap",* now linked with "incest"?
Although Van Veen's or Ada's happy handclapping at various moments in the novel sounds innocent, the author lets us know that some of the servants in Ardis (such as Blanche) suffer from venereal diseases. The faithful Trofim warns his master:"‘Dazhe skvoz’ kozhanïy fartuk ne stal-bï ya trogat’ etu frantsuzskuyu devku.’ " (and right after that a translation is offered)
"Barin: master. Dázhe skvoz’ kózhanïy fártuk: even through a leathern apron. Ne stal-bï ya trógat’: I would not think of touching. Étu: this (that). Frantsúzskuyu: French (adj., accus.). Dévku: wench. Úzhas, otcháyanie: horror, despair. Zhálost’: pity, Kóncheno, zagázheno, rastérzano: finished, fouled, torn to shreds."
Death may close a scene with a "clap-stick" ** (still another almost innocent technical expression, close to wipings, abrasions and uncomfortable recollections related to two hands sliding on a banister) but, undoubtedly, in the quote below the indication of "the clap" seems to be direct: 
Eccentric police officers grew enamored with the glamour of incest [  ] Nightwatchmen fought insomnia and the fire of the clap with the weapons of Vaniada’s Adventures.[  ]Virgin chatelaines in marble-floored manors fondled their lone flames fanned by Van’s romance. And another century would pass, and the painted word would be retouched by the still richer brush of time."


Why was gonorrhea called the clap? A strong possibility is because of a once-prescribed treatment: clapping the penis hard, for example, with a book against a table or a swift clap with the hands.
Here is KnowsWhy.Com: There have been many theories on why gonorrhea is sometimes called clap./ For one, it is believed that clap refers to the old French term, ‘clapier’, which means brothel. Before, gonorrhea was easily spread through these places. However, there is also another theory, which referred to how the infection was treated. To treat gonorrhea, it involved slamming a heavy book or any object down the penis so that the discharge would come out. This might not sound like a good treatment since it involved smashing the penis.[  ] "Gonorrhea Clap, “running range,” is the most dangerous of the three [venereal diseases]; because the most easily spread, the most lightly considered (only a cold) and the most difficult to cure. It begins as a little smarting when urine is passed, finally pain, swelling and a discharge that is highly contagious – the smallest bit of it in the eye may destroy vision... A man that would willfully put out the eyes of an innocent baby is the meanest of criminals. Yet that is what a man does who takes clap to the marriage bed. If there is any Hell, I think the hottest pace in it ought to be reserved for the man who willfully spreads venereal disease. A man with no respect for a pure woman is not fit to live." [  ]" I finally got an article through interlibrary loan, Michael R. Spence (1983). Gonorrhea. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology 25(1): 111-124. Here’s what is says about the history of the term: In the 1300s John Ardene, surgeon to Richard II and Henry IV of England, first used the term clap. The origin of the word is unclear and may refer to the word clappoir, meaning “bubo”; to le clapier, a house for prostitutes; to “clappers,” noisemakers used to warn of the approach of lepers."

** - All this was mere scenery, easily packed, labeled ‘Hell’ and freighted away; and only very infrequently some reminder would come — say, in the trickwork close-up of two left hands belonging to different sexes — doing what? Marina could no longer recall (though only four years had elapsed!) — playing à quatre mains? — no, neither took piano lessons — casting bunny-shadows on a wall? — closer, warmer, but still wrong; measuring something? But what? Climbing a tree? The polished trunk of a tree? But where, when? Someday, she mused, one’s past must be put in order. Retouched, retaken. Certain ‘wipes’ and ‘inserts’ will have to be made in the picture; certain telltale abrasions in the emulsion will have to be corrected; ‘dissolves’ in the sequence discreetly combined with the trimming out of unwanted, embarrassing ‘footage,’ and definite guarantees obtained; yes, someday — before death with its clap-stick closes the scene.

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