NABOKV-L post 0020896, Fri, 22 Oct 2010 12:57:31 +0400

spies in Pale Fire and The Adolescent
Kinbote speaks of Andronnikov and Niagarin, the two Soviet experts who broke into Villa Disa and stole King's letter to the Queen, in his note to Shade's line 681 ("Mars glowed. Shahs married. Gloomy Russians spied").

Arkadiy Dolgoruky, the hero and narrator of Dostoevsky's novel "The Adolescent," calls Alfonsinka, Lambert's girlfriend who stole a letter that once belonged to Andronikov, shpion (a spy).

In one of his conversations with Kinbote Shade mentions Dostoevsky among Russian humorists. Other great humorists include "those joint authors of genius Ilf and Petrov" (Kinbote's note to line 172). In Ilf and Petrov's "The 12 Chairs" Bender accuses Vorob'yaninov, who lives at Bender's expense, of alfonsism ("gigoloism"). Like PF's Andronnikov and Niagarin, Bender and Vorob'yaninov (whose name comes from vorobey, sparrow) are diamond hunters.

The (historical) name Dolgoruky* means "long-armed". In "The 12 Chairs" Bender says to the members of Soyuz mecha i orala ("The Union of Sword and Plough" that Bender created in Stargorod): U nas dlinnye ruki ("We have long arms").

Mars (cf. "Mars glowed" in Shade's poem) is mentioned in the "chess" chapter of "The 12 chairs" ("The Interplanetary Chess Tournament"). Russian for "chess" is shakhmaty (shakh, shah, + mat, mate). Cf. "Shahs married" in Shade's poem

*Prince Yuri Dolgoruky (dubbed so because of his wide connections) founded Moscow in 1147

Alexey Sklyarenko

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