Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0021816, Thu, 14 Jul 2011 22:22:50 -0300

Re: red dogs and Dan Veen
Alexey Sklyarenko: In my previous posts on the subject I forgot to point out that the phrase k chertyam sobach'im occurs in Ada at least thrice. For the last time sobach'i cherti (the canine devils) are mentioned in the chapter on uncle Dan's death (2.10):Especially so now - when everything had gone to the hell curs, k chertyam sobach'im, of Jeroen Anthnizoon van Aken and the molti aspetti affascinati of his enigmatica arte, as Dan explained with a last sigh to Dr Nikulin and to nurse Bellabestia ('Bess') to whom he bequeathed a trunkful of museum catalogues and his second-best catheter. The connection between red dog and Red Veen is not arbitrary as Jansy Mello thinks.

JM: Thank you, Alexey. You convinced me about the connection bt. uncle Dan and hell's hounds! I searched for the other two instances of "k chertyam sobach'im". The first is in connection to Aqua and the "miserable gadgets that were to replace those that had gone k chertyam sobach’im (Russian ‘to the devil’) with the banning of an unmentionable ‘lammer.’" and the second is definitely linked to Dan, a terrier and a red liptstick or crayon that was "tossed out by Marina k chertyam sobach’im, to hell’s hounds — and it did remind one of Rose’s terrier that had kept trying to hug Dan’s leg."

Now the next step is to discover what the connection shows (or doesn't show) to the general reader. One detailed explanation about a wider picture, one that includes the link between "dogged" Dan, Bosch and chastisement, is present in Brian Boyd's Annotations to Ada, particularly Part One, Chapter 11 Afternote - www.ada.auckland.ac.nz/ada111aft.htm

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