The uha, the shashlik, the Ai were facile and familiar successes; but the old songs had a peculiar poignancy owing to the participation of a Lyaskan contralto and a Banff bass, renowned performers of Russian 'romances,' with a touch of heart-wringing tsiganshchina vibrating through Grigoriev and Glinka... (2.8)
He heard Ada Vinelander's voice calling for her Glass bed slippers (which, as in Cordulenka's princessdom too, he found hard to distinguish from dance footwear), and a minute later, without the least interruption in the established tension, Van found himself, in a drunken dream, making violent love to Rose - no, to Ada, but in the rosacean fashion, on a kind of lowboy.
 She complained he hurt her ‘like a Tiger Turk.’ He went to bed and was about to doze off for good when she left his side. Where was she going? Pet wanted to see the album.
‘I’ll be back in a rubby,’ she said (tribadic schoolgirl slang), ‘so keep awake. From now on by the way, it’s going to be Chère-amie-fait-morata’ — (play on the generic and specific names of the famous fly) — ‘until further notice.’
‘But no sapphic vorschmacks,' mumbled Van into his pillow. (ibid.)
Rose is a black girl whom Van shared with Mr Dean:
Cursing and shaking both fists at breast level, he returned into the warmth of his flat and drank a bottle of champagne, and then rang for Rose, the sportive Negro maid whom he shared in more ways than one with the famous, recently decorated cryptogrammatist, Mr Dean, a perfect gentleman, dwelling on the floor below. (2.6)
In Blok's poem V restorane ("In a Restaurant," 1910) there are lines:
Я сидел у окна в переполненном зале.
Где-то пели смычки о любви.
Я послал тебе чёрную розу в бокале
Золотого, как нeбо, аи.

I sat by the window in a crowded room.
Distant bows were singing of love.
I sent you a black rose in a goblet
of Ai golden as the sky.
As in "The Fragments of Onegin's Journey" ([XXVII]: 10-11), lyubvi (of love) rhymes here with Ai (champagne). In the closing stanza of Blok's poem lyubvi rhymes with lovi (catch it):
Но из глуби зеркал ты мне взоры бросала
И, бросая, кричала: "Лови!.."
А монисто бренчало, цыганка плясала
И визжала заре о любви.
But from the depths of the mirrors you threw me a glance
And, throwing, you cried out: "Take it!"
While rattling her necklace, a gipsy danced
And screeched to the sunset of love.
In Chapter Five (XLII: 1-4) of Eugene Onegin Pushkin offers to the reader the expected rhyme morozy-rozy (froze-rose): 
И вот уже трещат морозы 
И серебрятся средь полей... 
(Читатель ждет уж рифмы розы
На, вот возьми её скорей!)
And now the frosts already crackle
and silver 'mid the fields
(the reader now expects the rhyme "froze-rose"
 - here, take it quick!).
Pushkin's letter of November 29, 1824, to Vyazemski begins:
Ольдекоп, мать его в рифму; надоел!
I'm sick of Oldekop, f-k his mother in rhymehole!
V rifmu ("in rhyme") is used here euphemistically instead v zhopu ("in arsehole"), a phrase that rhymes with Oldekopu (Dat. of Oldekop). After the dinner in Ursus Van has anal sex with Ada. Ursus and "a drunken dream" bring to mind the bear ("shaggy footman") in Tatiana's Boschean dream in Chapter Five of EO. Medved' (bear) is among the words that Tatiana looks up in Martin Zadeck. Zadeka (Zadeck) rhymes with Seneka (Seneca):
Ни Скотт, ни Байрон, ни Сенека, 
Ни даже Дамских Мод Журнал 
Так никого не занимал: 
То был, друзья, Мартын Задека, 
Глава халдейских мудрецов, 
Гадатель, толкователь снов.
nor Scott, nor Byron, nor Seneca,
nor even the Magazine of Ladies' Fashions
ever engrossed anybody so much:
it was, friends, Martin Zadeck,
head of Chaldean sages,
divinistre, interpreter of dreams. (EO, Five: XXII: 9-14)
In Ada Seneca is mentioned in connection with floramors and King Victor:
In 1905 a glancing blow was dealt Villa Venus from another quarter. The personage we have called Ritcov or Vrotic had been induced by the ailings of age to withdraw his patronage. However, one night he suddenly arrived, looking again as ruddy as the proverbial fiddle; but after the entire staff of his favorite floramor near Bath had worked in vain on him till an ironic Hesperus rose in a milkman's humdrum sky, the wretched sovereign of one-half of the globe called for the Shell Pink Book, wrote in it a line that Seneca had once composed:
subsidunt montes et juga celsa ruunt,
- and departed, weeping. (2.3)
Vrotic (v rotik, "in a little mouth") seems to hint at oral sex.
Задека + пьяница + сентябрь = задница + пять + Сенека + рябь = зять + пяденица + сень + барак/барка = аз + декабрь + пятница + ясень
пьяница - drunkard (in Blok's Incognita p'yanitsy s glazami krolikov, the drunks with the eyes of rabbits, cry out: "In vino veritas!") 
сентябрь - September
задница - arse, buttocks
пять - 5
- Seneca
рябь - ripple
зять - son-in-law; brother-in-law
пяденица - geometrid (a butterfly)
сень - obs., canopy
барак - barrack; hut
барка - wooden barge
аз - obs., I (first person pronoun)
декабрь - December
пятница - Friday
ясень - ash tree
‘Marina,' murmured Demon at the close of the first course. ‘Marina,' he repeated louder. ‘Far from me' (a locution he favored) ‘to criticize Dan's taste in white wines or the manners de vos domestiques. You know me, I'm above all that rot, I'm...' (gesture); ‘but, my dear,' he continued, switching to Russian, ‘the chelovek who brought me the pirozhki - the new man, the plumpish one with the eyes (s glazami) - '
‘Everybody has eyes,' remarked Marina drily.
‘Well, his look as if they were about to octopus the food he serves. But that's not the point. He pants, Marina! He suffers from some kind of odïshka (shortness of breath). He should see Dr Krolik. It's depressing. It's a rhythmic pumping pant. It made my soup ripple.' (1.38)
The Antiterran King Victor seems to be a negative of Queen Victoria. On the other hand, he brings to mind Victor Hugo (1802-85). Ursus is a character in Hugo's L'Homme qui rit ("The Laughing Man," 1869). Marina Tsvetaev's Povest' o Sonechke ("The Tale about little Sonya," 1937) has for the epigraph the opening lines of a poem by Hugo:
Elle était pâle - et pourtant rose,
Petite - avec de grands cheveux...
According to Marina Tsvetaev, her home was a Dickensian one and Sonya Gollidey liked it because she herself was from the world of Dickens' novels: 
Чтобы совсем всё сказать о моём доме: мой дом был - диккенсовский: из «Лавки древностей», где спали на сваях, а немножко из «Оливера Твиста» - на мешках, Сонечка же сама - вся - была из Диккенса: и Крошка Доррит - в долговой тюрьме, и Копперфильдова Дора со счётной книгой и с собачьей пагодой, и Флоренса, с Домби-братом на руках, и та странная девочка из «Общего друга», зазывающая старика-еврея на крышу - не быть: «Montez! Montez! Soyez mort! Soyez mort!» - и та, из «Двух городов», под раздуваемой грозой кисеёю играющая на клавесине и в стуке первых капель ливня слышащая топот толп Революции...
Demon Veen "preferred Walter Scott to Dickens and did not think highly of Russian novelists" (1.38). In his "lecture on dreams" Van mentions Dickens:
In the professional dreams that especially obsessed me when I worked on my earliest fiction, and pleaded abjectly with a very frail muse ('kneeling and wringing my hands' like the dusty-trousered Marmlad before his Marmlady in Dickens), I might see for example that I was correcting galley proofs but that somehow (the great 'somehow' of dreams!) the book had already come out, had come out literally, being proffered to me by a human hand from the wastepaper basket in its perfect, and dreadfully imperfect, stage - with a typo on every page, such as the snide 'bitterly' instead of 'butterfly' and the meaningless 'nuclear' instead of 'unclear.' (2.4)
Darkbloom ('Notes to Ada'): Marmlad in Dickens: or rather Marmeladov in Dostoevsky, whom Dickens (in translation) greatly influenced.
Sonya Marmeladov is a prostitute in Dostoevski's "Crime and Punishment" (1866). According to Marina, Dostoevski liked tea with raspberry syrup:
'Slivok (some cream)? I hope you speak Russian?' Marina asked Van, as she poured him a cup of tea.
'Neohotno no sovershenno svobodno (reluctantly but quite fluently),' replied Van, slegka ulïbnuvshis' (with a slight smile). 'Yes, lots of cream and three lumps of sugar.'
'Ada and I share your extravagant tastes. Dostoevski liked it with raspberry syrup.'
'Pah,' uttered Ada. (1.5).
For Marina Tsvetaev Sonya Gollidey was a live white lump of sugar:
Живым белым целым куском сахара - вот чем для меня была Сонечка.
malina/animal + Satan + grandpa + deva = Panama + Stalingrad + Nevada
malina - raspberry; according to Mandelshtam, "whatever the execution, it's a raspberry to him [Stalin]"
In "Elle était pâle - et pourtant rose..." Satan is mentioned:
Elle lui disait: Sois bien sage!
Sans jamais nommer le démon;
Leurs mains erraient de page en page
Sur Moïse et sur Salomon,
Sur Cyrus qui vint de la Perse,
Sur Moloch et Léviathan,
Sur l'enfer que Jésus traverse,
Sur l'éden où rampe Satan.
Grandpa Bagrov hobbled in from a nap in the boudoir and mistook Marina for a grande cocotte as the enraged lady conjectured later when she had a chance to get at poor Dan. Instead of staying for the night, Marina stalked off and called Ada who, having been told to ‘play in the garden,' was mumbling and numbering in raw-flesh red the white trunks of a row of young birches with Rose's purloined lipstick in the preamble to a game she now could not remember - what a pity, said Van - when her mother swept her back straight to Ardis in the same taxi leaving Dan - to his devices and vices, inserted Van - and arriving home at sunrise. But, added Ada, just before being whisked away and deprived of her crayon (tossed out by Marina k chertyam sobach'im, to hell's hounds - and it did remind one of Rose's terrier that had kept trying to hug Dan's leg) the charming glimpse was granted her of tiny Van, with another sweet boy, and blond-bearded, white-bloused Aksakov, walking up to the house, and, oh yes, she had forgotten her hoop - no, it was still in the taxi. But, personally, Van had not the slightest recollection of that visit or indeed of that particular summer, because his father's life, anyway, was a rose garden all the time, and he had been caressed by ungloved lovely hands more than once himself, which did not interest Ada. (1.24)
deva - maiden
Stalingrad - former name of Volgograd (Tsaritsyn prior to 1925 ) 
Nevada - on Antiterra, Ada's rhyme-name town. From Ada's letter to Van:
We are still at the candy-pink and pisang-green albergo where you once stayed with your father. He is awfully nice to me, by the way. I enjoy going places with him. He and I have gamed at Nevada, my rhyme-name town, but you are also there, as well as the legendary river of Old Rus. (2.1)
Like Demon, Pushkin was a gambler. In the same letter of Nov. 29, 1824, to Vyazemski Pushkin mentions the manuscript of his poems that in 1820 he lost to Nikita Vsevolozhski: Я проиграл потом рукопись мою Никите Всеволожскому (разумеется, с известным условием). In a game of stoss played in Pskov in 1826 Pushkin lost Chapter Four of EO.
"The legendary river of Old Rus" is the Neva. Like Pushkin's Onegin, VN was born upon the Neva's banks.
Alexey Sklyarenko
Google Search
the archive
the Editors
NOJ Zembla Nabokv-L
Subscription options AdaOnline NSJ Ada Annotations L-Soft Search the archive VN Bibliography Blog

All private editorial communications are read by both co-editors.