Old Demon, iridescent wings humped, half rose but sank back again, enveloping Ada with one arm, holding his glass in the other hand, kissing the girl in the neck, in the hair, burrowing in her sweetness with more than an uncle’s fervor. ‘Gosh,’ she exclaimed (with an outbreak of nursery slang that affected Van with even more umilenie, attendrissement, melting ravishment, than his father seemed to experience). ‘How lovely to see you! Clawing your way through the clouds! Swooping down on Tamara’s castle!’
(Lermontov paraphrased by Lowden). (1.38)
Zamok Tamary (Tamara's castle) is mentioned in Ilf and Petrov's "The Twelve Chairs" (chapter 38 "Up in the Clouds"):
Ипполит Матвеевич сначала следил за подъёмом великого комбинатора, но потом рассеялся и, обернувшись, принялся разглядывать фундамент замка Тамары, сохранившийся на скале, похожей на лошадиный зуб.
At first Ippolit Matveyevich watched the smooth operator's ascent, but then lost interest and began to survey the base of Tamara's castle, which stood on a rock like  a  horse's tooth.
-- Я отдам колбасу! -- закричал отец Фёдор.-- Снимите меня! 
В ответ грохотал Терек и из замка Тамары неслись страстные крики. Там жили совы.
"I'll give back the sausage," cried Father Fyodor, "only get me down."
In reply the Terek roared and from Tamara's castle passionate cries could be heard. The owls lived in it.
Queen Tamara visits Father Fyodor on his rock:
А следующей ночью он увидел царицу Тамару. Царица прилетела к нему из своего замка и кокетливо сказала:
-- Соседями будем.
The next night he saw Queen Tamara. She came flying over to him from her castle and said coquettishly:
"We'll be neighbors! " (ibid.)
When the fire brigade brings Father Fyodor down, he sings from Rubinstein's Demon:

Когда его снимали, он хлопал руками и пел лишённым приятности голосом: 
И будешь ты царицей ми-и-и-и-рра, Подр-р-руга вe-е-чная моя! 
И суровый Кавказ многократно повторил слова М. Ю. Лермонтова и музыку А. Рубинштейна.
As they were lowering him,  he clapped his hands and sang in a tuneless voice:
"And you will be queen of the world, My lifelo-ong frie-nd!"
And the rugged Caucuses re-echoed Rubinstein's setting of the Lermontov poem many times. (ibid)
A young Georgian knyazhna (Princess) with whom Lermontov's (and Rubinstein's) Demon falls in love, has nothing to do with tsaritsa Tamara, the eponymous Queen ("beautiful as a heavenly angel, sly and evil as a demon") in a poem (1841) by Lermontov.
Lowden (according to Darkbloom, "a portmanteau name combining two contemporary bards") confuses two Tamaras. But he also seems to confuse two Demons! For Demon (1823) is a "short poem treating of the spirit of cynicism and negation" by Pushkin. In a letter of Sept. 10, 1824, to Pushkin Delvig says that most readers will not understand the beauty of Proserpina and Demon and asks Pushkin (whom Delvig addresses "your Parnassian majesty;" cf. Monparnasse [sic], Mlle Larivière's penname) to send for his magazine Severnye tsvety (Northern Flowers) a score of verses from Eugene Onegin:
Есть ещё у меня не просьба, но только спрос: не вздумаешь ли ты дать мне стихов двадцать из Евгения Онегина? Это хорошо бы было для толпы, которая не поймёт всей красоты твоей Прозерпины или Демона, а уж про Онегина давно горло дерёт. Подумайте, ваше Парнасское величество!
According to Delvig, Pushkin's poem Proserpina (1824) is pure music: a bird of paradise's singing that one can hear for a thousand years without noticing the passage of time:
Прозерпина не стихи, а музыка: это пенье райской птички, которое слушая, не увидешь, как пройдёт тысяча лет. Эти двери давно мне знакомы. Сквозь них, ещё в Лицее, меня [иногда] часто выталкивали из Элизея. Какая искустная щеголиха у тебя истина. Подобных цветов мороз не тронет!
"What a smart dashing lady is istina (truth) in your poems. Such flowers will be spared by the frost!"
A line in Proserpina, Ada gordaya tsaritsa ("the proud queen of Hades"), can be read as "proud Queen Ada."
By a marvelous coincidence, Delvig (1798-1830) died on the anniversary of the death of the fictional Lenski (who is compared to him here on the eve of a fatal duel); and the wake commemorating Delvig's death was held by his friends (Pushkin, Vyazemski, Baratynski, and Yazykov) in a Moscow restaurant, on Jan. 27, 1831, exactly six years before Pushkin's fatal duel.
It was Delvig who quipped that the nearer to heaven, the colder one's verses get (as reported by Pushkin in a MS note)... (EO Commentary, vol. III, p. 23)
Van's and Ada's father, Demon Veen dies in an airplane disaster above the Pacific. (3.7)
Tamara + istina + venets + krylo + tail/lait + Vera = Marina + aktrisa + tsvety + Lolita + Venera/Erevan
istina - truth; in Blok's Incognita (1906) the drunks s glazami krolikov (with the eyes of rabbits) cry out: "istina v vine (in vino veritas)!" In EO (Six: XX: 12-14) Lenski is compared to drunken Delvig (see below)
venets - crown
krylo - wing
lait -milk
Marina - Marina Durmanov, Van's and Ada's mother
aktrisa - actress (Ada follows in her mother's footsteps and becomes a professional actress)
tsvety - flowers
Lolita - from Demon's letter to Marina: You had gone to Boston to see an old aunt - a cliché, but the truth for the nonce - and I had gone to my aunt's ranch near Lolita, Texas. Early one February morning (around noon chez vous) I rang you up at your hotel from a roadside booth of pure crystal still tear-stained after a tremendous thunderstorm to ask you to fly over at once, because I, Demon, rattling my crumpled wings and cursing the automatic dorophone, could not live without you and because I wished you to see, with me holding you, the daze of desert flowers that the rain had brought out. (1.2) According to Darkbloom, Lolita has been renamed after the appearance of the notorious novel. 
For the big picnic on Ada’s twelfth birthday and Ida’s forty-second jour de fête, the child was permitted to wear her lolita (thus dubbed after the little Andalusian gipsy of that name in Osberg’s novel and pronounced, incidentally, with a Spanish ‘t,’ not a thick English one), a rather long, but very airy and ample, black skirt, with red poppies or peonies, ‘deficient in botanical reality,’ as she grandly expressed it, not yet knowing that reality and natural science are synonymous in the terms of this, and only this, dream. (1.13)
Venera - Russ., Venus
Ereven - the capital of Armenia
He [Lenski] reads them
aloud, in lyric fever,
like drunken D[elvig] at a feast.
The verses chanced to be preserved;
I have them; here they are:
"Whither, ah! whither are ye fled,
my springtime's golden days?.."
Two opening lines of stanza XXI (EO, Six) are quoted by Van:
‘Old storytelling devices,’ said Van, ‘may be parodied only by very great and inhuman artists, but only close relatives can be forgiven for paraphrasing illustrious poems. Let me preface the effort of a cousin — anybody’s cousin — by a snatch of Pushkin, for the sake of rhyme —’
‘For the snake of rhyme!’ cried Ada. ‘A paraphrase, even my paraphrase, is like the corruption of "snakeroot" into "snagrel" — all that remains of a delicate little birthwort.’
‘Which is amply sufficient,’ said Demon, ‘for my little needs, and those of my little friends.’
‘So here goes,’ continued Van (ignoring what he felt was an indecent allusion, since the unfortunate plant used to be considered by the ancient inhabitants of the Ladore region not so much as a remedy for the bite of a reptile, as the token of a very young woman’s easy delivery; but no matter).
‘By chance preserved has been the poem. In fact, I have it. Here it is: Leur chute est lente and one can know ‘em…’
‘Oh, I know ‘em,’ interrupted Demon:

‘Leur chute est lente. On peut les suivre
Du regard en reconnaissant
Le chêne à sa feuille de cuivre
L’érable à sa feuille de sang

‘Grand stuff!’
‘Yes, that was Coppée and now comes the cousin,’ said Van, and he recited:
‘Their fall is gentle. The leavesdropper
Can follow each of them and know
The oak tree by its leaf of copper,
The maple by its blood-red glow.’

‘Pah!’ uttered the versionist.
‘Not at all!’ cried Demon. ‘That "leavesdropper" is a splendid trouvaille, girl.’ He pulled the girl to him, she landing on the arm of his Klubsessel, and he glued himself with thick moist lips to her hot red ear through the rich black strands. Van felt a shiver of delight. (1.38)
Van recites his own version of Coppée's poem. Four years earlier, after the night of the Burning Barn (when Van and Ada make love for the first time), Ada showed to Van her translation of these lines and Van mentioned Lowden:
She had to finish a translation for Mlle Larivière. She showed him her draft. François Coppée? Yes.
Their fall is gentle. The woodchopper
Can tell, before they reach the mud,
The oak tree by its leaf of copper,
The maple by its leaf of blood.

‘Leur chute est lente,’ said Van, ‘on peut les suivre du regard en reconnaissant — that paraphrastic touch of "chopper" and "mud" is, of course, pure Lowden (minor poet and translator, 1815–1895). Betraying the first half of the stanza to save the second is rather like that Russian nobleman who chucked his coachman to the wolves, and then fell out of his sleigh.’ (1.20)
Ada's husband Andrey Vinelander calls Demon, the son of Dedalus Veen, "Dementiy Labirintovich:"
'And then, one day, Demon warned me that he would not come any more if he heard again poor Andrey's poor joke (Nu i balagur-zhe vy, Dementiy Labirintovich) or what Dorothy, l'impayable ("priceless for impudence and absurdity") Dorothy, thought of my camping out in the mountains with only Mayo, a cowhand, to protect me from lions.' (3.8)
In a poem written in Sept., 1835, and consisting of two EO stanzas Pushkin mentions labyrinth:
В мои осенние досуги,
В те дни, как любо мне писать,
Вы мне советуете, други,
Рассказ забытый продолжать.
Вы говорите справедливо,
Что странно, даже неучтиво
Роман не конча перервать,
Отдав уже его в печать,
Что должно своего героя
Как бы то ни было женить,
По крайней мере уморить,
И лица прочие пристроя,
Отдав им дружеский поклон,
Из лабиринта вывесть вон.
During my days of autumn leisure -
those days when I so love to write -
you, friends, advise me to go on
with my forgotten tale.
You say - and you are right -
that it is odd, and even impolite,
to interrupt an uncompleted novel
and have it published as it is;
that one must marry off one's hero in any case,
or kill him off at least, and, after having
disposed of the remaining characters
and made to them a friendly bow,
expel them from a labyrinth. (EO Commentary, vol. III, p. 377)
In his garland of sonnets Corona astralis (1909) Maximilian Voloshin mentions Daedalus' son Icarus:
Мы правим путь свой к солнцу, как Икар,
Плащом ветров и пламенем одеты.
Like Icarus, we are heading for the sun,
clothed in a cloak of winds and in fire.
According to Voloshin (Cosmos in the cycle "The Paths of Cain"),
Нет выхода из лабиринта знанья,
И человек не станет никогда
Иным, чем то, во что он страстно верит.
There is no exit from the labyrinth of knowledge,
and man will never become anything else
than that in what he passionately believes.
Voloshin is the author of Demony glukhonemye ("Deaf-Mute Demons," 1917) and Rus' glukhonemaya ("Deaf-Mute Russia," 1918).
In his poem Nochnoe nebo tak ugryumo... ("The nocturnal sky is so gloomy..." 1865) Tyutchev compares sheetlightnings to deaf-mute demons talking to each other.
‘What was that?’ exclaimed Marina, whom certicle storms terrified even more than they did the Antiamberians of Ladore County.
‘Sheet lightning,’ suggested Van.
‘If you ask me,’ said Demon, turning on his chair to consider the billowing drapery, ‘I’d guess it was a photographer’s flash. After all, we have here a famous actress and a sensational acrobat.’
Ada ran to the window. From under the anxious magnolias a white-faced boy flanked by two gaping handmaids stood aiming a camera at the harmless, gay family group. But it was only a nocturnal mirage, not unusual in July. Nobody was taking pictures except Perun, the unmentionable god of thunder. (1.38)
After he was forced by Demon to give up Ada, Van blinds Kim Beauharnais, the snoopy kitchen boy and photographer at Ardis who blackmailed Ada (2.11). At the end of his letter of Sept. 10, 1824, to Pushkin Delvig mentions the blind poet Ivan Kozlov:
Матюшкин тебе кланяется и слепец Козлов, который только что и твердит о тебе да о Байроне. Люби Дельвига.
Kozlov is the author of Princess Natalia Dolgoruki (1828). Kim Beauharnais seems to be a son of Arkadiy Dolgoruki, the narrator and main character in Dostoevski's Podrostok ("The Adolescent," 1875).
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.