As she speaks to Van, Lucette mentions a box of korsetov i khrestomatiy (corsets and chrestomathies) left behind by Mlle Larivi¨¨re (Lucette¡¯s governess):
¡®Oh, it went on practically every night at Marina Ranch, and often during siestas; otherwise, in between those vanouissements (her expression), or when she and I had the flow, which, believe it or not ¡ª¡¯
¡®I can believe anything,¡¯ said Van.
¡®¡ª took place at coincident dates, we were just ordinary sisters, exchanging routine nothings, having little in common, she collecting cactuses or running through her lines for the next audition in Sterva, and I reading a lot, or copying beautiful erotic pictures from an album of Forbidden Masterpieces that we found, apropos, in a box of korsetov i khrestomatiy (corsets and chrestomathies) which Belle had left behind, and I can assure you, they were far more realistic than the scroll-painting by Mong Mong, very active in 888, a millennium before Ada said it illustrated Oriental calisthenics when I found it by chance in the corner of one of my ambuscades.¡¯ (2.5)
In her autobiographical story Moy Pushkin (¡°My Pushkin,¡± 1937) Marina Tsvetaev mentions her half-brother Andrey¡¯s khrestomatiya (chrestomathy) full of Bagrov grandson, Bagrov grandfather, etc.:
§¡§ß§Õ§â§ð§ê§Ú§ß§Ñ §ç§â§Ö§ã§ä§à§Þ§Ñ§ä§Ú§ñ §Ò§í§Ý§Ñ §ß§Ö§ã§à§Þ§ß§Ö§ß§ß§à-§ä§à§Ý§ã§ä§Ñ§ñ, §Ö§× §â§Ñ§ã§á§Ú§â§Ñ§Ý§à §¢§Ñ§Ô§â§à§Ó§í§Þ-§Ó§ß§å§Ü§à§Þ §Ú §¢§Ñ§Ô§â§à§Ó§í§Þ-§Õ§Ö§Õ§à§Þ, §Ú §Ý§Ú§ç§à§â§Ñ§Õ§ñ§ë§Ö§Û §Þ§Ñ§ä§Ö§â§î§ð, §Õ§í§ê§Ñ§ë§Ö§Û §á§â§ñ§Þ§à §Ó §Ô§â§å§Õ§î §â§Ö§Ò§×§ß§Ü§å, §Ú §Ó§ã§Ö§Û §Ò§Ö§Ù§å§Þ§ß§à§Û §Ý§ð§Ò§à§Ó§î§ð §ï§ä§à§Ô§à §â§Ö§Ò§×§ß§Ü§Ñ, §Ú §Ó§×§Õ§â§Ñ§Þ§Ú §â§í§Ò§í, §Ý§à§Ó§Ú§Þ§à§Û §Õ§å§â§Ñ§ê§Ý§Ú§Ó§í§Þ §Þ§à§Ý§à§Õ§í§Þ §à§ä§è§à§Þ, §Ú - "§´§í §à§á§ñ§ä§î §ß§Ö §ã§á§Ú§ê§î?" - §¯§Ú§Ü§à§Ý§Ö§ß§î§Ü§à§Û, §Ú §Ó§ã§Ö§Þ§Ú §ä§Ö§Þ§Ú §Ô§à§ß§é§Ú§Þ§Ú §Ú §Ò§à§â§Ù§í§Þ§Ú, §Ú §Ó§ã§Ö§Þ§Ú §Ý§Ú§â§Ú§é§Ö§ã§Ü§Ú§Þ§Ú §á§à§ï§ä§Ñ§Þ§Ú §²§à§ã§ã§Ú§Ú.
In her poem Boh¨¨me (1917) Marina Tsvetaev mentions her belyi korset (white corset), karta vin (carte des vins) and stul¡¯ya (chairs):
§±§à§Þ§ß§Ú§ê§î §á§Ý§Ñ§ë §Ô§à§Ý§å§Ò§à§Û,
§¶§à§ß§Ñ§â§Ú §Ú §Ý§å§Ø§Ú?
§¬§Ñ§Ü §Ú§Ô§â§Ñ§Ý§Ú §ã §ä§à§Ò§à§Û
§®§í §Ó §Ø§Ö§ß§å §Ú §Þ§å§Ø§Ñ.
§®§à§Û §á§Ö§â§Ó§í§Û §Ò§â§Ñ§ã§Ý§Ö§ä,
§®§à§Û §Ò§Ö§Ý§í§Û §Ü§à§â§ã§Ö§ä,
§´§Ó§à§Û §Þ§Ñ§Ý§Ú§ß§à§Ó§í§Û §Ø§Ú§Ý§Ö§ä,
§¯§Ñ§ê §Ü§Ý§Ö§ä§é§Ñ§ä§í§Û §á§Ý§Ö§Õ?!
§´§í, §á§à §Ó§à§Ý§Ö §ã§å§Õ§î§Ò§í,
§£§ã§× §á§Ú§ã§Ñ§Ý §ã§à§ß§Ö§ä§í.
§Á §Ó§Ñ§â§Ú§Ý§Ñ §Ò§à§Ò§í
§¬§Ñ§Ü §ß§Ñ§Õ §Ü§Ñ§â§ä§à§ð §Ó§Ú§ß
§®§í §ß§Ñ §á§Ñ§Ý§î§è§í §Õ§å§Ý§Ú,
§¬§Ñ§Ü §Ó §Õ§í§Þ§ñ§ë§Ú§Û §Ü§Ñ§Þ§Ú§ß
§±§à§Þ§ß§Ú§ê§î ¡ª §ê§Ü§Ñ§æ §á§à§Õ §à§â§Ö§ç?
§·§à§Ý§à§Õ §Ò§í§Ý §à§ä§é§Ñ§ñ§ß§ß§í§Û!
§®§à§Û §ã§ä§â§Ñ§ç, §ä§Ó§à§Û §ã§Þ§Ö§ç,
§¬§Ñ§Ü §ã§ä§å§é§Ñ§Ý §ß§Ñ§Þ §ã§à§ã§Ö§Õ,
§±§à§è§Ö§Ý§å§Ú ¡ª §Ó §à§Ò§Ö§Õ,
§ª §ã§ä§Ú§ç§Ú ¡ª §ß§Ñ §å§Ø§Ú§ß¡
§®§à§Û §á§Ö§â§Ó§í§Û §Ò§â§Ñ§ã§Ý§Ö§ä,
§®§à§Û §Ò§Ö§Ý§í§Û §Ü§à§â§ã§Ö§ä,
§´§Ó§à§Û §Þ§Ñ§Ý§Ú§ß§à§Ó§í§Û §Ø§Ú§Ý§Ö§ä ¡ª
§¯§Ñ§ê §Ü§Ý§Ö§ä§é§Ñ§ä§í§Û §á§Ý§Ö§Õ¡
Marina Tsvetaev¡¯s poem begins:
Do you remember the blue cloak,
Street lamps and puddles?
How we played
In wife and husband.
Demon¡¯s adversary in a sword duel, Baron d¡¯Onsky (Skonky) married the Bohemian lady:
The challenge was accepted; two native seconds were chosen; the Baron plumped for swords; and after a certain amount of good blood (Polish and Irish - a kind of American 'Gory Mary' in barroom parlance) had bespattered two hairy torsoes, the whitewashed terrace, the flight of steps leading backward to the walled garden in an amusing Douglas d'Artagnan arrangement, the apron of a quite accidental milkmaid, and the shirtsleeves of both seconds, charming Monsieur de Pastrouil and Colonel St Alin, a scoundrel, the latter gentlemen separated the panting combatants, and Skonky died, not 'of his wounds' (as it was viciously rumored) but of a gangrenous afterthought on the part of the least of them, possibly self-inflicted, a sting in the groin, which caused circulatory trouble, notwithstanding quite a few surgical interventions during two or three years of protracted stays at the Aardvark Hospital in Boston - a city where, incidentally, he married in 1869 our friend the Bohemian lady, now keeper of Glass Biota at the local museum. (ibid.)
In Ilf and Petrov¡¯s novel Zolotoy telyonok (¡°The Golden Calf,¡± 1931) the fat samovar face of Douglas Fairbanks (the actor who played d¡¯Artagnan in a Hollywood version of ¡°The Three Musketeers¡±) is mentioned:
§©§Ñ§ä§à §Ó §Ù§Õ§Ñ§ß§Ú§Ú §ä§Ú§á§à§Ô§â§Ñ§æ§Ú§Ú §Ü§à§Þ§Ú§ã§ã§Ú§ñ §Ù§Ñ§ã§ä§Ñ§Ý§Ñ §â§Ñ§Ò§à§ä§å §Ó §á§à§Ý§ß§à§Þ §â§Ñ§Ù§Ô§Ñ§â§Ö. §³§Ú§ñ§Ý§Ú §Ý§Ú§Ý§à§Ó§í§Ö §Ý§Ñ§Þ§á§í, §Ú §á§Ý§à§ã§Ü§Ú§Ö §á§Ö§é§Ñ§ä§ß§í§Ö §Þ§Ñ§ê§Ú§ß§í §à§Ù§Ñ§Ò§à§é§Ö§ß§ß§à §ç§Ý§à§á§Ñ§Ý§Ú §Ü§â§í§Ý§î§ñ§Þ§Ú. §´§â§Ú §Ú§Ù §ß§Ú§ç §Ó§í§á§Ö§Ü§Ñ§Ý§Ú §å§ë§Ö§Ý§î§Ö §Ó §à§Õ§ß§å §Ü§â§Ñ§ã§Ü§å, §Ñ §Ú§Ù §é§Ö§ä§Ó§Ö§â§ä§à§Û, §Þ§ß§à§Ô§à§Ü§â§Ñ§ã§à§é§ß§à§Û, §ã§Ý§à§Ó§ß§à §Ü§Ñ§â§ä§í §Ú§Ù §â§å§Ü§Ñ§Ó§Ñ §ê§å§Ý§Ö§â§Ñ, §Ó§í§Ý§Ö§ä§Ñ§Ý§Ú §à§ä§Ü§â§í§ä§Ü§Ú §ã §á§à§â§ä§â§Ö§ä§Ñ§Þ§Ú §¥§å§Ô§Ý§Ñ§ã§Ñ §¶§Ö§â§Ò§Ö§ß§Ü§ã§Ñ §Ó §é§×§â§ß§à§Û §á§à§Ý§å§Þ§Ñ§ã§Ü§Ö §ß§Ñ §ä§à§Ý§ã§ä§à§Û §ã§Ñ§Þ§à§Ó§Ñ§â§ß§à§Û §Þ§à§â§Õ§Ö, §à§é§Ñ§â§à§Ó§Ñ§ä§Ö§Ý§î§ß§à§Û §§Ú§Ñ §Õ§Ö §±§å§ä§ä§Ú §Ú §ã§Ý§Ñ§Ó§ß§à§Ô§à §Þ§Ñ§Ý§à§Ô§à §ã §Ó§í§ä§Ñ§â§Ñ§ë§Ö§ß§ß§í§Þ§Ú §Ô§Ý§Ñ§Ù§Ñ§Þ§Ú, §Ú§Ù§Ó§Ö§ã§ä§ß§à§Ô§à §á§à§Õ §Ú§Þ§Ö§ß§Ö§Þ §®§à§ß§ä§Ú §¢§Ö§ß§Ü§ã§Ñ.
Three of them [printing presses] were spitting out monochrome pictures of the canyon, while out of a fourth, multicolored press, like cards out of a card sharp¡¯s sleeve, there flew postcards of Douglas Fairbanks with a black half-mask over his fat samovar face, the charming Lia de Putti and the famous little bug-eyed man known as Monty Banks. (Chapter Five, "The Underground Kingdom")
In Ilf and Petrov¡¯s novel Dvenadtsat¡¯ stul¡¯yev (¡°The Twelve Chairs,¡± 1928) Father Fyodor calls the eagle that stole his sausage sterva (¡°bitch of a bird¡±):
§º§Ý§Ú §à§Ò§Ý§Ñ§Ü§Ñ. §¯§Ñ§Õ §à§ä§è§à§Þ §¶§×§Õ§à§â§à§Þ §Ü§â§å§Ø§Ú§Ý§Ú§ã§î §à§â§Ý§í. §³§Ñ§Þ§í§Û §ã§Þ§Ö§Ý§í§Û §Ú§Ù §ß§Ú§ç §å§Ü§â§Ñ§Ý §à§ã§ä§Ñ§ä§à§Ü §Ý§ð§Ò§Ú§ä§Ö§Ý§î§ã§Ü§à§Û §Ü§à§Ý§Ò§Ñ§ã§í §Ú §Ó§Ù§Þ§Ñ§ç§à§Þ §Ü§â§í§Ý§Ñ §ã§Ò§â§à§ã§Ú§Ý §Ó §á§Ö§ß§ñ§ë§Ú§Û§ã§ñ §´§Ö§â§Ö§Ü §æ§å§ß§ä§Ñ §á§à§Ý§ä§à§â§Ñ §ç§Ý§Ö§Ò§Ñ. §°§ä§Ö§è §¶§×§Õ§à§â §á§à§Ô§â§à§Ù§Ú§Ý §à§â§Ý§å §á§Ñ§Ý§î§è§Ö§Þ §Ú, §Ý§å§é§Ö§Ù§Ñ§â§ß§à §å§Ý§í§Ò§Ñ§ñ§ã§î, §á§â§à§ê§Ö§á§ä§Ñ§Ý:
¡ª §±§ä§Ú§é§Ü§Ñ §Ò§à§Ø§Ú§ñ §ß§Ö §Ù§ß§Ñ§Ö§ä §ß§Ú §Ù§Ñ§Ò§à§ä§í, §ß§Ú §ä§â§å§Õ§Ñ, §ç§Ý§à§á§à§ä§Ý§Ú§Ó§à §ß§Ö §ã§Ó§Ú§Ó§Ñ§Ö§ä §Õ§à§Ý§Ô§à§Ó§Ö§é§ß§à§Ô§à §Ô§ß§Ö§Ù§Õ§Ñ. §°§â§×§Ý §á§à§Ü§à§ã§Ú§Ý§ã§ñ §ß§Ñ §à§ä§è§Ñ §¶§×§Õ§à§â§Ñ, §Ù§Ñ§Ü§â§Ú§é§Ñ§Ý «§Ü§å-§Ü§å-§â§Ö-§Ü§å» §Ú §å§Ý§Ö§ä§Ö§Ý.
¡ª §¡§ç, §à§â§Ý§å§ê§Ñ, §à§â§Ý§å§ê§Ñ, §Ò§à§Ý§î§ê§Ñ§ñ §ä§í §ã§ä§Ö§â§Ó§Ñ!
Clouds drifted by. Eagles cruised above Father Fyodor¡¯s head. The bravest of them stole the remains of the sausage and with its wings swept a pound and a half of bread into the foaming Terek. Father Fyodor wagged his finger at the eagle and, smiling radiantly, whispered: "God's bird does not know Either toil or unrest, It never builds A long-lasting nest."
The eagle looked sideways at Father Fyodor, squawked cockadoodledoo and flew away.
Father Fyodor quotes the lines from Pushkin¡¯s poem Tsygany (¡°The Gypsies,¡± 1824). In ¡°My Pushkin¡± Marina Tsvetaev also quotes them and says that they about a butterfly:
§±§ä§Ú§é§Ü§Ñ §¢§à§Ø§Ú§ñ §ß§Ö §Ù§ß§Ñ§Ö§ä
§¯§Ú §Ù§Ñ§Ò§à§ä§í, §ß§Ú §ä§â§å§Õ§Ñ,
§·§Ý§à§á§à§ä§Ý§Ú§Ó§à §ß§Ö §ã§Ó§Ú§Ó§Ñ§Ö§ä
§´§Ñ§Ü §é§ä§à §Ø§Ö §à§ß§Ñ §ä§à§Ô§Õ§Ñ §Õ§Ö§Ý§Ñ§Ö§ä? §ª §Ü§ä§à §Ø§Ö §ä§à§Ô§Õ§Ñ §Ó§î§×§ä §Ô§ß§Ö§Ù§Õ§à? §ª §Ö§ã§ä§î §Ý§Ú §Ó§à§à§Ò§ë§Ö §ä§Ñ§Ü§Ú§Ö §á§ä§Ú§é§Ü§Ú, §Ü§â§à§Þ§Ö §Ü§å§Ü§å§ê§Ü§Ú, §Ü§à§ä§à§â§Ñ§ñ §ß§Ö §á§ä§Ú§é§Ü§Ñ, §Ñ §è§Ö§Ý§Ñ§ñ §á§ä§Ú§é§Ú§ë§Ñ? §¿§ä§Ú §ã§ä§Ú§ç§Ú §ñ§Ó§ß§à §ß§Ñ§á§Ú§ã§Ñ§ß§í §á§â§à §Ò§Ñ§Ò§à§é§Ü§å.
Marina Tsvetaev mentions kukushka (cuckoo), a bird that lays its eggs in other birds¡¯ nests. Marina (Van¡¯s, Ada¡¯s and Lucette¡¯s mother) made her mad twin sister Aqua believe that Van is her, Aqua¡¯s, beloved son.
Sterva (the word of abuse used by Father Fyodor; Lucette mentions Ada¡¯s auditions in Sterva) is an anagram of versta (verst), an obsolete Russian unit of length equal to 500 sazhen (1,0668 km). Vyorsty (¡°The Versts¡±) is the title of several collections of poetry by Marina Tsvetaev. According to Van, the distance between Raduga and Radugalet (¡°the other Ardis¡±) is ten versts:
It was, Van suggested, a ¡®tower in the mist¡¯ (as she called any good recollection), and then a conductor walked on the running board of every coach with the train also running and opened doors all over again to give, punch, collect tickets, and lick his thumb, and change money, a hell of a job, but another ¡®mauve tower.¡¯ Did they hire a motor landaulet to Radugalet? Ten miles, she guessed. Ten versts, said Van. She stood corrected. (1.24)
Van¡¯s ¡°ten versts¡± bring to mind Aqua¡¯s ten fingers:
¡®¡®You know, Doctor, I think I¡¯ll need glasses soon, I don¡¯t know¡¯ (lofty laugh), ¡®I just can¡¯t make out what my wrist watch says... For heaven¡¯s sake, tell me what it says! Ah! Half-past for ¡ª for what? Never mind, never mind, "never" and "mind" are twins, I have a twin sister and a twin son. I know you want to examine my pudendron, the Hairy Alpine Rose in her album, collected ten years ago¡¯ (showing her ten fingers gleefully, proudly, ten is ten!). (1.3)
Marina Tsvetaev was short-sighted.
"Tower in the mist" and "mauve tower" seem to hint at Marina Tsvetaev's autobiographical story Bashnya v plyushche ("The Tower in Ivy," 1933) and at "mauve shades of Monsieur Proust" in Ada's entomological diary:
'I think Marina would stop scolding me for my hobby ("There's something indecent about a little girl's keeping such revolting pets...," "Normal young ladies should loathe snakes and worms," et cetera) if I could persuade her to overcome her old-fashioned squeamishness and place simultaneously on palm and pulse (the hand alone would not be roomy enough!) the noble larva of the Cattleya Hawkmoth (mauve shades of Monsieur Proust), a seven-inch-long colossus flesh colored, with turquoise arabesques, rearing its hyacinth head in a stiff "Sphinxian" attitude.' (1.8)
Cattleya is any of several tropical American orchids of the genus Cattleya, having showy flowers ranging from white to purple. In Proust's A la Recherche du Temps Perdu "cattleya" is Swann's and Odette's "tender turret" word for their love-makings. In "My Pushkin" Marina Tsvetaev pairs Pushkin with Marcel Proust:
§´§Ñ§Ü§à§Û §ß§Ö§Ø§ß§à§ã§ä§Ú §ã§Ý§à§Ó§Ñ §Ü §ã§ä§Ñ§â§å§ç§Ö §ß§Ñ§ê§Ý§Ú§ã§î §ä§à§Ý§î§Ü§à §å §ß§Ö§Õ§Ñ§Ó§ß§à §å§Þ§é§Ñ§Ó§ê§Ö§Ô§à§ã§ñ §à§ä §ß§Ñ§ã §Ô§Ö§ß§Ú§ñ - §®§Ñ§â§ã§Ö§Ý§ñ §±§â§å§ã§ä§Ñ. §±§å§ê§Ü§Ú§ß. §±§â§å§ã§ä. §¥§Ó§Ñ §á§Ñ§Þ§ñ§ä§ß§Ú§Ü§Ñ §ã§í§ß§à§Ó§ß§à§ã§ä§Ú.
According to Marina Tsvetaev, Pushkin and Proust are two monuments of synovnost¡¯ (filial affection). The author of Stikhi k Chekhii (¡°Verses to Czechoslovakia,¡± 1939), Marina Tsvetaev lived in Prague after leaving Russia in 1922. VN¡¯s mother spent her last years and in 1939 died in Prague.
Karta vin (carte des vins) mentioned by Marina Tsvetaev in her poem Boh¨¨me brings to mind the ¡®cart de van¡¯ demanded by Ada¡¯s husband at the dinner in Bellevue:
Lemorio's agents, an elderly couple, unwed but having lived as man and man for a sufficiently long period to warrant a silver-screen anniversary, remained unsplit at table between Yuzlik, who never once spoke to them, and Van, who was being tortured by Dorothy. As to Andrey (who made a thready 'sign of the cross' over his un-unbuttonable abdomen before necking in his napkin), he found himself seated between sister and wife. He demanded the 'cart de van' (affording the real Van mild amusement), but, being a hard-liquor man, cast only a stunned look at the 'Swiss White' page of the wine list before 'passing the buck' to Ada who promptly ordered champagne. (3.8)
Darkbloom (¡®Notes to Ada¡¯): cart de van: Amer., mispronunciation of carte des vins.
Yuzlik is the director who filmed Don Juan¡¯s Last Fling, the movie in which Ada played the gitanilla. Van and Lucette watch it in the Tobakoff cinema hall on the eve of Lucette¡¯s suicide (3.5). Andrey Andreevich Vinelander (Ada¡¯s husband) is a namesake of Andrey Andreevich Aksakov (¡®AAA,¡¯ Van¡¯s angelic Russian tutor). Describing the first occasion on which Ada saw him, Van mentions his tutor and Bagrov¡¯s grandson:
He [Van] was out, he imagined, na progulke (promenading) in the gloomy firwood with Aksakov, his tutor, and Bagrov¡¯s grandson, a neighbor¡¯s boy, whom he teased and pinched and made horrible fun of, a nice quiet little fellow who quietly massacred moles and anything else with fur on, probably pathological. (1.24)
Yuzlik + kovcheg + Orlik = yug + Kozlevich + Krolik
kovcheg - ark; in ¡°The Twelve Chairs¡± (chapter 32 ¡°A Shady Couple¡±) kovcheg is mentioned
Orlik - Filipp Orlik, a character in Pushkin's Poltava (1829)
yug - South
Kozlevich - Adam Kozlevich, a character in Ilf and Petrov's "The Golden Calf" (the driver of the Antelope Gnu car)
Krolik - Dr Krolik, Ada's teacher of natural history (the local entomologist whom Ada calls ¡°my court jeweler¡±); krolik means ¡°rabbit;¡± in Blok¡¯s Incognita (1906) the drunks with the eyes of rabbits (p¡¯yanitsy s glazami krolikov) cry out: In vino veritas!