Tak ty zhenat (so you are married)? Didnt know it. How long?
About two years.
To whom?
Maude Sween.
The daughter of the poet?
No, no, her mother is a Brougham. (3.2)
Note the rhyme "know it - poet."
Darkbloom ('Notes to Ada'): So you are married, etc.: see Eugene Onegin, Eight: XVIII: 1-4.
" ! !
?" - . -
" ?" - . - "!"
- ? - " ".
"So you are married! Didn't know before.
How long?" "About two years."
"To whom?" "The Larin girl." "Tatiana!"
"She knows you?" "I'm their neighbor."
Note the rich inner rhyme in the original: na kom (to whom) - znakom (familiar).
The first six stanzas [of Chapter Four of EO] were omitted (wisely) by Pushkin in the complete editions. By 1833 he had been married to Natalia Goncharov as long as Prince N., in 1824, had been married to Tatiana Larin: about two years. The first four stanzas, under the heading "Women: a Fragment from Eugene Onegin," appeared in the Moscow Herald (Moskovskiy vestnik), pt. 5, no. 20 (1827), 365-67; the fair copy is in MB 3515. (EO Commentary, vol. II, p. 414)
In this Fragment (EO, Four: III: 1-4) Pushkin quotes Delvig's Ode to Fani (c. 1815):
In the words of a vatic poet
I also am allowed to say:
"Thamyra, Daphne, and Lileta
I've long forgotten, like a dream."
It seems to me that, like Pushkin's Triquet (a resourceful poet who in the place of "belle Nina" boldly puts "belle Tatiana"), VN would be tempted to put different names in the place of "Thamyra, Daphne, and Lileta:"
In the words of a vatic poet
I also am allowed to say:
"Tamara, Ada and Lucette
I've long forgotten, like a dream."
The real name of Tamara of VN's Drugie berega ("Other Shores," 1954) and Speak, Memory (1967) was Valentina ("Lyusya")* Shulgin. The name of Van's and Ada's half-sister, Lucette, can hint at VN's Lyusya. On the other hand, Ada marries Andrey Vinelander (an Arizonian Russian) in Valentine State:
'O dear Van, this is the last attempt I am making. You may call it a document in madness or the herb of repentance, but I wish to come and live with you, wherever you are, for ever and ever. If you scorn the maid at your window I will aerogram my immediate acceptance of a proposal of marriage that has been made to your poor Ada a month ago in Valentine State. He is an Arizonian Russian, decent and gentle, not overbright and not fashionable. The only thing we have in common is a keen interest in many military-looking desert plants especially various species of agave, hosts of the larvae of the most noble animals in America, the Giant Skippers (Krolik, you see, is burrowing again). He owns horses, and Cubistic pictures, and "oil wells" (whatever they are-our father in hell who has some too, does not tell me, getting away with off-color allusions as is his wont). I have told my patient Valentinian that I shall give him a definite answer after consulting the only man I have ever loved or shall ever love. Try to ring me up tonight. Something is very wrong with the Ladore line, but I am assured that the trouble will be grappled with and eliminated before rivertide. Tvoya, tvoya, tvoya (thine). A.' (2.5)
In Ada's letter to Van there are many allusions to Shakespeare's Hamlet. In EO (Two: XXXVII: 6-7) Lenski at the grave of Dmitri Larin (Tatiana's and Olga's father) quotes Hamlet's exclamaition over the skull of the fool:
"Poor Yorick!" ,
" ."
"Poor Yorick!" mournfully he uttered,
"in his arms he hath borne me."
It seems to me that in Pushkin's lines in EO (Four: III: 1-4) VN would also be tempted to substitute obsolete and solemn piit for modern poet:
In the words of a vatic poet
I also am allowed to say:
"Tatiana, Olga and Lolita
I've long forgotten, like a dream."
Lolita is the eponymous little girl in VN's most famous novel (1955). Tatiana and Olga are the Larin sisters in Eugene Onegin.
The name Larin exists. Sometime in the 1840s, in Moscow, the writer Aleksandr Veltman (Weldmann; 1800-60) ran into into an old acquaintance of his, Ilya Larin. He was "a character," a crackpot and a bum who had roamed all over Russia and, a quarter of century before, in Kishinev, had amused Pushkin with his antics and drinking parties - incidentally presenting the poet with a name of his squire (perhaps a subliminal link may be distinguished here connecting Larin, Pushkin's court fool, and Yorick of the next lines). In the course of the conversation, Larin asked Veltman, "Do you remember Pushkin? He was a good soul. Where is he, do you know?" "Long dead," answered Veltman. "Really? Poor fellow. And what about Vladimir Petrovich" (whoever that was) "what is he doing?"** (EO Commentary, vol. II, p. 303)
Alas, poor Larin! In EO (Two: XXXVI: 9-14) Larin rhymes with barin (squire):
, ,
, ,
He was a simple and kind squire,
and there where lies his dust
the monument above the grave proclaims:
"The humble sinner Dmitri Larin,
slave of our Lord, and Brigadier,
beneath this stone enjoyeth piece."
When Van leaves Ardis forever, Trofim Fartukov (the Russian coachman who brings Van to "Volosyanka," as Trofim calls Maidenhair, the nearest station to Ardis Hall) addresses him "barin" ("master"):
'Barin, a barin,' said Trofim, turning his blond-bearded face to his passenger.
'Dazhe skvoz' kozhanïy fartuk ne stal-bï ya trogat' etu frantsuzskuyu devku.'
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. (1.41)
Trofim Fartukov eventually marries Blanche (the "French wench" who leaves Ardis with Van but comes back later):
'By the way, where is my poor little Blanche now?'
'Oh, she's all right. She's still around. You know, she came back - after you abducted her. She married our Russian coachman, the one who replaced Bengal Ben, as the servants called him.'
'Oh she did? That's delicious. Madame Trofim Fartukov. I would never have thought it.'
'They have a blind child,' said Ada.
'Love is blind,' said Van. (2.7)
shato + barin/brain/bairn/Brian = Shatobrian
shato - Russian spelling of chateau (Fr., castle)
Brian - Russian spelling of Briand (Aristide Briand, 1862-1932, a French statesman mentioned in Ilf and Petrov's "The Golden Calf," 1931)
Shatobrian - Russian spelling of Chateaubriand
'C'est ma dernière nuit au château,' she [Blanche] said softly, and rephrased it in her quaint English, elegiac and stilted, as spoken only in obsolete novels. ''Tis my last night with thee.'
'Your last night? With me? What do you mean?' He [Van] considered her with the eerie uneasiness one feels when listening to the utterances of delirium or intoxication. (1.41)
His bandages had been removed; nothing but a special vest-like affair of flannel enveloped his torso, and though it was tight and thick it did not protect him any longer from the poisoned point of Ardis. Arrowhead Manor. Le Château de la Flèche, Flesh Hall. (1.42) 
One of Van's and Ada's favorite writers, Chateaubriand is often mentioned in Ada. In EO (Four: XXVI: 1-4) Lenski sometimes reads to Olya "a moralistic novel in which the author has more knowledge of nature than Chateaubriand."
In less than a week Aqua had accumulated more than two hundred tablets of different potency. She knew most of them - the jejune sedatives, and the ones that knocked you out from eight p.m. till midnight, and several varieties of superior soporifics that left you with limpid limbs and a leaden head after eight hours of non-being, and a drug which was in itself delightful but a little lethal if combined with a draught of the cleansing fluid commercially known as Morona; and a plump purple pill reminding her, she had to laugh, of those with which the little gypsy enchantress in the Spanish tale (dear to Ladore schoolgirls) puts to sleep all the sportsmen and all their bloodhounds at the opening of the hunting season. (1.3)
The Spanish tale dear to Ladore schoolgirls is Osberg's novel The Gitanilla. The name of Osberg's gitanilla is Lolita (1.13). In VN's Lolita Humbert Humbert gives to Lolita the sleeping pills:
I glanced around, satisfied myself that the last diner had left, removed the stopped, and with the utmost deliberation tipped the philter into my palm. I had carefully rehearsed before a mirror the gesture of clapping my empty hand to my open mouth and swallowing a (fictitious) pill. As I expected, she pounced upon the vial with its plump, beautifully colored capsules loaded with Beauty's Sleep.
"Blue!" she exclaimed. "Violet blue. What are they made of?"
"Summer skies," I said, "and plums and figs, and the grapeblood of emperors."
"No, seriously - please."
"Oh, just Purpills. Vitamin X. Makes one strong as an ox or an ax. Want to try one?"
Lolita stretched out her hand, nodding vigorously.
I had hoped the drug would work fast. It certainly did. (1.27)
One is reminded of Reveillez-vous, belle endormie ("Wake up, the beautiful sleeping girl"), a stanza that in EO (Five: XXVII) Triquet brought for Tatiana:

, ,

, :
Reveillez-vous, belle endormie.

, ,
belle Nina
belle Tatiana.
With the family of Panfil Harlikov,
there also came Monsieur Triquet,
a wit, late from Tambov,
bespectacled and russet wigged.
As a true Frenchman, in his pocket
Triquet has brought a stanza for Tatiana
fitting an air to children known:
"Réveillez-vous, belle endormie."
'Mongst the time-worn songs of an almanac
this stanza had been printed;
Triquet - resourceful poet -
out of the dust brought it to light
and boldly in the place of "belle Niná"
put "belle Tatianá."
One is tempted to put "Trofim Fartukov" (true, the surname is accented on the first syllable) in the place of "Panfil Harlikov." Imagine Blanche as a guest at Tatiana's name day party! In French blanche means "withe." In his country place Onegin sometimes enjoys a young and fresh kiss of chernookaya belyanka (white-skinned, dark-eyed girl, Four: XXXIX: 3-4). True, Blanche has light blue eyes.
Golos, znaemyi det'mi (an air to children known) brings to mind the Russian-language newspapers Golos (Logos) and Golos Feniksa (The Phoenix Voice).
There he [the male nurse Dorofey] left Van, while he seated himself at a small table in the door corner and leisurely unfolded the Russian-language newspaper Golos (Logos). (1.42)
In the Kalugano hospital Van recovers from the wound he received in a pistol duel with Captain Tapper. Tatiana, a remarkably pretty and proud young nurse, later writes him a charming and melancholy letter:
Inset, so to speak, was Tatiana, a remarkably pretty and proud young nurse, with black hair and diaphanous skin (some of her attitudes and gestures, and that harmony between neck and eyes which is the special, scarcely yet investigated secret of feminine grace fantastically and agonizingly reminded him of Ada, and he sought escape from that image in a powerful response to the charms of Tatiana, a torturing angel in her own right. Enforced immobility forbade the chase and grab of common cartoons. He begged her to massage his legs but she tested him with one glance of her grave, dark eyes - and delegated the task to Dorofey, a beefy-handed male nurse, strong enough to lift him bodily out of bed, with the sick child clasping the massive nape. When Van managed once to twiddle her breasts, she warned him she would complain if he ever repeated what she dubbed more aptly than she thought 'that soft dangle.' An exhibition of his state with a humble appeal for a healing caress resulted in her drily remarking that distinguished gentlemen in public parks got quite lengthy prison terms for that sort of thing. However, much later, she wrote him a charming and melancholy letter in red ink on pink paper; but other emotions and events had intervened, and he never met her again). (ibid.)
In Chapter Three of EO Tatiana writes Onegin a passionate love letter.
In the Bellevue hotel in Mont Roux Dorothy Vinelander reads to her sick brother old issues of Golos Feniksa:
Dorothy, a born nurser, considerably surpassed Ada (who, never being ill herself, could not stand the sight of an ailing stranger) in readiness of sickbed attendance, such as reading to the sweating and suffocating patient old issues of the Golos Feniksa; but on Friday the hotel doctor bundled him off to the nearby American Hospital, where even his sister was not allowed to visit him because of the constant necessity of routine tests' - or rather because the poor fellow wished to confront disaster in manly solitude. (3.8)
Old issues of Golos Feniksa bring to mind Chatski's words in the beginning of his famous monologue in Griboedov's Gore ot uma ("Woe from Wit," 1824):
I wonder who the judges are! Old aged,
they show irreconcilable hostility to free life.
They derive their opinions from the forgotten newspapers that date as far back
as the Ochakov times and the subjugation of the Crimea. (Act Two, scene 5)
In childhood Lenski played with Dmitri Larin's Ochakov medal:
: ?.."
, ,
"How oft I played in childhood
with his Ochákov medal!
For me he destined Olga;
he said: Shall I be there to see the day?'"
and full of sincere sadness,
Vladimir there and then set down
a gravestone madrigal for him. (Four: XXXVII: 8-14)
One of Ada's lovers, Percy de Prey, perishes in the Crimean War, on the second day of the invasion. (1.43)
Dorofey glanced up from his paper, then went back the article that engrossed him - 'A Clever Piggy: from the memoirs of an animal trainer),' or else 'The Crimean War: Tartar Guerillas Help Chinese Troops.' (1.42)
At the Goodson Airport, in one of the gilt-framed mirrors of its old-fashioned waiting room, Van glimpsed the silk hat of his father who sat awaiting him in an armchair of imitation marble-wood, behind a newspaper that said in reversed characters: 'Crime Capitulates.' (2.1)
As he leaves Ardis, Van regrets that he missed the chance to kill Percy in a pistol duel:
Maidenhair. Idiot! Percy boy might have been buried by now! Maidenhair. Thus named because of the huge spreading Chinese tree at the end of the platform. Once, vaguely, confused with the Venus-hair fern. (1.41)
Volosyanka (Maidenhair) comes from volos (hair).
Golos + volos = Logos + slovo
golos - voice
slovo - word
In another omitted stanza at the beginning of Chapter Four (V: 5-14) of EO Pushkin uses slovo ("word") in the sense le mot de l'énigme:


: -, ,
But by the luring riddle
not long was I tormented furtively...
<... themselves did help me greatly>
by whispering to me the word;
<for a long time> known to the world of fashion,
and it had even ceased to seem
funny to anyone.
Thus <having solved that riddle>
I said: So this is all, my friends?
How slow-witted I am!
the word / slovo: a Gallicism, le mot de 'énigme. One wonders what was its simple solution. Perhaps: "le fruit de l'amour mondain n'est autre chose que la jouissance..." (Pierre de Bourdeilles, Seigneur de Brantôme, Recueil des dames, pt. II, Les Dames galantes, Discours II).
See also Seven: XXV: 2. (EO Commentary, vol. II, p. 418)
In his poem Shakespeare (1924) VN mentions Brantôme (c. 1540-1614):
, ,
Look what numbers
of lowly, worthless souls have left their trace,
what countless names Brantôme has for the asking!
Reveal yourself, god of iambic thunder,
you hundred-mouthed, unthinkably great bard!
On Antiterra Brantôme is a village near Ladore:
The orchards and vineyards were particularly picturesque that year; and Ben Wright was fired after letting winds go free while driving Marina and Mlle Lariviere home from the Vendange Festival at Brantôme near Ladore.
Anyway (this may be purely a stylistic transition), he felt himself transferred into that forbidden masterpiece, one afternoon, when everybody had gone to Brantôme, and Ada and he were sunbathing on the brink of the Cascade in the larch plantation of Ardis Park, and his nymphet had bent over him and his detailed desire. (1.22)
In Chapter Seven of EO Tatiana finds slovo (the word, le mot de l'énigme) for Onegin:
, ,
? ,

A sad and dangerous eccentric,
creature of hell or heaven,
this angel, this arrogant fiend,
who's he then? Can it be - an imitation,
an insignificant phantasm, or else
a Muscovite in Harold's mantle,
a glossary of other people's megrims,
a complete lexicon of words in vogue?...
Might he not be, in fact, a parody?
Can it be that she has resolved the riddle?
Can it be that "the word" is found? (XXIV: 6-14, XXV: 1-2)
"The word" found by Tatiana is "parody." Note ada ("of hell") in the original (XXIV: 7) and the rhyme nebes (of heaven) - bes (fiend). "Harold's mantle" brings to mind a bayronka (open shirt) in which Uncle Ivan is clad on the portrait in Marina's bedroom. (2.7)
According to Bess (which is fiend in Russian), Dans buxom but otherwise disgusting nurse, whom he preferred to all others and had taken to Ardis because she managed to extract orally a few last drops of play-zero (as the old whore called it) out of his poor body, he had been complaining for some time, even before Adas sudden departure, that a devil combining the characteristics of a frog and a rodent desired to straddle him and ride him to the torture house of eternity. (2.10)
'Play-zero' is a play on paisir (pleasure), the word that occurs in Ada:
Marina, with perverse vainglory, used to affirm in bed that Demon's senses must have been influenced by a queer sort of "incestuous" (whatever that term means) pleasure (in the sense of the French plaisir, which works up a lot of supplementary spinal vibrato), when he fondled, and savored, and delicately parted and defiled, in unmentionable but fascinating ways, flesh (une chair) that was both that of his wife and that of his mistress, the blended and brightened charms of twin peris, an Aquamarina both single and double, a mirage in an emirate, a germinate gem, an orgy of epithelial alliterations. (1.3)
The adverb "incestuously" is used by Demon as he speaks to Van:
If I could write, mused Demon, I would describe, in too many words no doubt, how passionately, how incandescently, how incestuously cest le mot art and science meet in an insect, in a thrush, in a thistle of that ducal bosquet. (2.10)
When at the picnic on Ada's twelfth birthday Ada and Grace Erminin play anagrams, Grace innocently suggests "insect:"
Lying on his stomach, leaning his cheek on his hand, Van looked at his loves inclined neck as she played anagrams with Grace, who had innocently suggested insect.
Scient, said Ada, writing it down.
Oh no! objected Grace.
Oh yes! Im sure it exists. He is a great scient. Dr Entsic was scient in insects.
Grace meditated, tapping her puckered brow with the eraser end of the pencil, and came up with:
Incest, said Ada instantly.
I give up, said Grace. We need a dictionary to check your little inventions.
But the glow of the afternoon had entered its most oppressive phase, and the first bad mosquito of the season was resonantly slain on Adas shin by alert Lucette. The charabanc had already left with the armchairs, the hampers and the munching footmen, Essex, Middlesex and Somerset; and now Mlle Larivière and Mme Forestier were exchanging melodious adieux. (1.13)
Pushkin's fragment Zhenshchiny ("Women," EO, Four: I: 1-4) begins:

, , ;

In the beginning of my life ruled me
the charming, sly, weak sex;
I then would set myself for law
nought but its arbitrary will.
In a letter of May 9, 1834, to Olga Pavlishchev (Pushkin's sister) the poet's mother Nadezhda Osipovna calls Eliza Khitrovo (Kutuzov's daughter who was hopelessly in love with Pushkin) "Erminia" (after a character in Torquato Tasso's Gerusalemme liberata). Pushkin is the author of Vertograd moey sestry ("My Sister's Garden," 1825). In Ada (1.21) Miss Vertograd is Demon Veen's librarian. Greg Erminin (Grace's twin brother whom Van meets in Paris) is hopelessly in love with Ada:
...Might have replied Ada Veen, had Mr Vinelander not been a quicker suitor. I think I met a Broom somewhere. Drop the subject. Probably a dreary union: hefty, high-handed wife, he more of a bore than ever.
I last saw you thirteen years ago, riding a black pony no, a black Silentium. Bozhe moy!
Yes Bozhe moy, you can well say that. Those lovely, lovely agonies in lovely Ardis! Oh, I was absolyutno bezumno (madly) in love with your cousin!
You mean Miss Veen? I did not know it. How long
Neither did she. I was terribly
How long are you staying
terribly shy, because, of course, I realized that I could not compete with her numerous boy friends.
Numerous? Two? Three? Is it possible he never heard about the main one? All the rose hedges knew, all the maids knew, in all three manors. The noble reticence of our bed makers.
How long will you be staying in Lute? No, Greg, I ordered it. You pay for the next bottle. Tell me
So odd to recall! It was frenzy, it was fantasy, it was reality in the x degree. Id have consented to be beheaded by a Tartar, I declare, if in exchange I could have kissed her instep. You were her cousin, almost a brother, you cant understand that obsession. Ah, those picnics! And Percy de Prey who boasted to me about her, and drove me crazy with envy and pity, and Dr Krolik, who, they said, also loved her, and Phil Rack, a composer of genius dead, dead, all dead!
I really know very little about music but it was a great pleasure to make your chum howl. I have an appointment in a few minutes, alas. Za tvoyo zdorovie, Grigoriy Akimovich.
Arkadievich, said Greg, who had let it pass once but now mechanically corrected Van.
Ach yes! Stupid slip of the slovenly tongue. How is Arkadiy Grigorievich?
He died. He died just before your aunt. I thought the papers paid a very handsome tribute to her talent. And where is Adelaida Danilovna? Did she marry Christopher Vinelander or his brother?
In California or Arizona. Andreys the name, I gather. Perhaps Im mistaken. In fact, I never knew my cousin very well: I visited Ardis only twice, after all, for a few weeks each time, years ago.
Somebody told me shes a movie actress.
Ive no idea, Ive never seen her on the screen.
Oh, that would be terrible, I declare to switch on the dorotelly, and suddenly see her. Like a drowning man seeing his whole past, and the trees, and the flowers, and the wreathed dachshund. She must have been terribly affected by her mothers terrible death.
Likes the word terrible, I declare. A terrible suit of clothes, a terrible tumor. Why must I stand it? Revolting and yet fascinating in a weird way: my babbling shadow, my burlesque double.
Van was about to leave when a smartly uniformed chauffeur came up to inform my lord that his lady was parked at the corner of rue Saigon and was summoning him to appear.
Aha, said Van, I see you are using your British title. Your father preferred to pass for a Chekhovian colonel.
Maude is Anglo-Scottish and, well, likes it that way. Thinks a title gets one better service abroad. By the way, somebody told me yes, Tobak!  that Lucette is at the Alphonse Four. I havent asked you about your father? Hes in good health? (Van bowed,) And how is the guvernantka belletristka?
Her last novel is called L'ami Luc. She just got the Lebon Academy Prize for her copious rubbish.
They parted laughing. (3.2)
At the picnic on Ada's twelfth birthday (1.13) Colonel Erminin does not turn up, because his liver (pechen') is behaving like a pecheneg (savage). Pecheneg (1894) is a stroy by Chekhov. Chekhov is the author of Zhenshchiny s tochki zreniya p'yanitsy ("Women from the Point of View of a Drunkard," 1885), a story signed Brat moego brata (My brother's brother). Girls under sixteen are compared in it to distilled water (aqua distillata). Aqua is Marina's twin sister who married Demon Veen (Van's and Ada's father). Her suicide note was signed 'My sister's sister who teper' iz ada' (now is out of hell). (1.3)
In Blok's poem Neznakomka ("Incognita," 1906) p'yanitsy s glazami Krolikov (the drunks with the eyes of rabbits) cry out: "In vino veritas!" Blok is the author of Zhenshchina ("A Woman," 1914).
He [Van] headed for the bar, and as he was in the act of wiping the lenses of his black-framed spectacles, made out, through the optical mist (Spaces recent revenge!), the girl whose silhouette he recalled having seen now and then (much more distinctly!) ever since his pubescence, passing alone, drinking alone, always alone, like Bloks Incognita. (3.3)
Hullo there, Ed, said Van to the barman, and she [Lucette] turned at the sound of his dear rasping voice.
I didnt expect you to wear glasses. You almost got le paquet, which I was preparing for the man supposedly "goggling" my hat. Darling Van! Dushka moy! (ibid.)
From Blok's poem Zhenshchina:
, ...

But I feel: at my back he
Stands, he approached and froze
Already with angry words I
Prepare to rebuff him...***
*There is Lyusya in Valyusya, Valentina's diminutive.
** Quoted by Lerner, Zven'ya, no. 5 (1935), p. 70.
***see also my article in Zembla "Aleksandr Blok's Dreams as Enacted in Ada by Van Veen and Vice Versa"
Alexey Sklyarenko
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