Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0021795, Sat, 9 Jul 2011 09:45:50 -0400

Red dogs
The last thing Van thinks of before he falls asleep and has his dream of
floramors is a red dog: Through rain forests and mountain canyons and
other fascinating places (oh, name them! Can't - falling asleep), the
room moved as slowly as fifteen miles per hour but across desertorum or
agricultural drearies it attained seventy, ninety-seven night-nine, one
hund, red dog - (2.2)

Bazarov, the hero of Turgenev's "Отцы и дети" ("Fathers and Sons,"
1861), sees red dogs in his death-bed delirium: "Пока я лежал, мне всё
казалось, что вокруг меня красные собаки бегали,
а ты надо мной стойку делал, как над тетеревом." ("While I was lying
here I kept on imagining that red dogs were running round me, and you
were one of them pointing at me, as if I were a blackcock.") To resist
delirium Bazarov turns to arithmetic: "I don't want to start raving," he
muttered, clenching his fists; "what rubbish it all is!" And then he
said abruptly, "Come, take ten from eight, what remains?"

The name of Bazarov's father (whom Bazarov sees as a red dog) is
Vasiliy. One is reminded of Васька красный (Red Vaska), the incredibly
cruel вышибала (bouncer, the position overlooked by Eric Veen in his
Villa Venus project: 2.3) in a Volgan brothel, the eponymous hero of a
story by Gorky. On the other hand, Red Veen is the nickname of Marina's
husband (Lucette's father) Daniel Veen who dies an odd Boschean death
(2.10). Bosch is also important in Gorky's novel "Жизнь Клима Самгина"
("The Life of Klim Samgin"). Klim Samgin is a namesake of Baron Klim
Avidov (anagram of Vladimir Nabokov), Marina's old lover who gave her
children a set of Flavita (1.36).

Alexey Sklyarenko

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