Annotations by Alexey Sklyarenko


Please read Alexey Sklyarenko's annotations on Pale FireAda and other Nabokov works here.

two sailors, barbok & mida in Bend Sinister

Submitted by Alexey Sklyarenko on Mon, 07/13/2020 - 16:13

Below is a postscript to my recent post “Miss Bachofen & barbok in Bend Sinister”


In VN’s novel Bend Sinister (1947) Miss Bachofen (a girl who came with Hustav to arrest Ember) mentions a story about the two sailors and the barbok [a kind of pie with a hole in the middle for melted butter]:


Esmeralda and her Parandrus in LATH

Submitted by Alexey Sklyarenko on Fri, 07/10/2020 - 08:28

In VN’s novel Look at the Harlequins! (1974) other books by the narrator include Esmeralda and her Parandrus (1941), Vadim’s novel that seems to correspond to VN’s Bend Sinister (1947). Parandrus is an ox-sized animal of medieval bestiaries. Esmeralda must be the name of a Spanish nobleman’s little daughter who discovered the paintings in the cave of Altamira:


painted cave of Altamira in Bend Sinister; Altamira animals in Pale Fire

Submitted by Alexey Sklyarenko on Thu, 07/09/2020 - 20:04

In VN’s novel Bend Sinister (1947) the philosopher Adam Krug had always wished to know more about the Aurignacian Age and those portraits of singular beings (perhaps Neanderthal half-men—direct ancestors of Paduk and his likes—used by Aurignacians as slaves) that a Spanish nobleman and his little daughter had discovered in the painted cave of Altamira:


ryuen' & Künstlerpostkarte in Ada; radabarbara in Bend Sinister

Submitted by Alexey Sklyarenko on Tue, 07/07/2020 - 05:19

According to Van Veen (the narrator and main character in VN’s novel Ada, 1969), all the hundred floramors (palatial brothels built by David van Veen, a wealthy architect of Flemish extraction, all over the world in memory of his grandson Eric) opened simultaneously on September 20, 1875: