Annotations by Alexey Sklyarenko

Description

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

delicate little birthwort in Ada

Submitted by Alexey Sklyarenko on Mon, 06/07/2021 - 04:49

Before the family dinner in “Ardis the Second” Ada (the title character of a novel, 1969, by VN) mentions a delicate little birthwort (the unfortunate plant that, according to Van, 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):

 

The neat interplay of harmonious motions, the candid gayety of family reunions, the never-entangling marionette strings — all this is easier described than imagined.

snake of rhyme in Ada

Submitted by Alexey Sklyarenko on Sun, 06/06/2021 - 09:00

Before the family dinner in “Ardis the Second” Ada (the title character of a novel, 1969, by VN) mentions “the snake of rhyme” (a play on Van’s words “for the sake of rhyme”):

 

The neat interplay of harmonious motions, the candid gayety of family reunions, the never-entangling marionette strings — all this is easier described than imagined.

Virgin, Venus & unmentionable magnetic power in Ada

Submitted by Alexey Sklyarenko on Sat, 06/05/2021 - 11:46

Describing the torments of poor mad Aqua (the twin sister of Van’s, Ada’s and Lucette’s mother Marina), Van Veen (the narrator and main character in VN’s novel Ada, 1969) mentions the Virgin and Venus and calls electricity (banned on Antiterra after the L disaster) “the unmentionable magnetic power:”

 

giant sharks & pilgrims in Ada

Submitted by Alexey Sklyarenko on Fri, 06/04/2021 - 15:15

Describing the torments of poor mad Aqua (the twin sister of Van’s, Ada’s and Lucette’s mother Marina), Van Veen (the narrator and main character in VN’s novel Ada, 1969) says that Aqua saw flying sharks with lateral eyes taking barely one night to carry pilgrims through black ether across an entire continent from dark to shining sea:

 

Golden Curtain & Golden Veil in Ada; Ardis & Ian Bunyan in LATH

Submitted by Alexey Sklyarenko on Thu, 06/03/2021 - 04:49

Describing his performance in variety shows as Mascodagama, Van Veen (the narrator and main character in VN’s novel Ada, 1969) mentions the Golden Curtain that separates Tartary (a country that on Demonia, aka Antiterra, Earth’s twin planet on which Ada is set, occupies the territory of the Soviet Russia) from the rest of the world:

 

Boyarski & Morozov in LATH

Submitted by Alexey Sklyarenko on Wed, 06/02/2021 - 13:13

When Oks (Osip Lvovich Oksman) shows to Vadim Vadimovich (the narrator and main character in VN’s novel Look at the Harlequins!, 1974) his lending library, Vadim recognizes – among the people who have a business meeting there – his friend Morozov and Boyarski (a sycophant of the critic Basilevski):