Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0021930, Wed, 10 Aug 2011 11:58:06 +0300

Dostoevski, author of The Double, etc.
An afterthought concerning the mention of "Dostoevski, author of The Double, etc." in the excerpt from Speak, Memory quoted in my previous post:

Demonia or Antiterra (the planet on which Ada is set) is a double of Earth.

The mock execution of Dostoevski (who was imprisoned in the Peter-and-Paul Fortress for eight months) took place on January 3, 1850 (New Style). January 3 is Lucette's birthday. On the other hand, the mysterious L disaster happened on Antiterra in the beau milieu of the 19th century (1.3).

Dostoevsky was arrested on April 23, 1849 (Old Style). The Double (1848) was the second tale of Dostoevsky who had made his debut with Bednye Lyudi ("Poor Folks," 1846), an epistolary novel. One of the characters in Bednye Lyudi is Tereza (a housemaid who acts as a postman between the two correspondents who live in a big apartment house with their windows facing each other across the courtyard). Theresa is a character in Van's debut novel Letters from Terra, a girl who sends messages from Terra to Professor Sig Leymanski and then flies over to him (2.2). On the other hand, the Cyrillic counterpart of Roman L (cf. L disaster) was called lyudi in the old Russian alphabet.

Antiterra and Earth's twin planet visited by the hero and narrator in Dostoevsky's story "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man" (1877) after he committed suicide in his dream seem to be one and the same planet.

Correction of a slip of finger in my previous post: saklya, not "lyaska," is a Caucasian mountain hut. The word is used by Pushkin and Lermontov in their Caucasian poems and in "A Hero of our Time," and by Tolstoy in "Haji Murat." Also, the word Fortress is missing in my quote from Speak, Memory. Insert it after the Peter-and-Paul.

Alexey Sklyarenko

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