NABOKV-L post 0020911, Tue, 26 Oct 2010 23:50:47 -0200

Re: Niagarin
Alexey Sklyarenko: I notice that Niagarin, the name of one of the two Soviet experts in PF, rhymes not only with Gagarin, but also with Bulgarin (aka "Figlyarin", "Flyugarin"), the journalist, novelist and critic (1789-1859), a target of countless epigrams by Pushkin, Baratynsky and Vyazemsky. Bulgarin, in his turn, brings to mind Bulganin, in 1955-58 the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union, who was preceded by Malenkov and succeeded by Khrushchyov. Both Malenkov and "Hrushchov" are mentioned by Kinbote in his Commentary.

JM: Alexey's associations departed from Niagarin and led us to Kinbote's mentions to Malenkov and Hrushchov. Real people!
I was thinking about travelling in the opposite direction, in an American tour, with a bunch of mutants, whose names could have been inspired by Pale Fire (1962). Namely, Charles Francis Xavier, and Jean Grey, or Gray. The X-Men" #1 comics first appeared in September 1963.* It's probably just a coincidence because "Charles" and "Gray" are easily found, whereas "Francis Xavier" is the name of a Catholic saint.


* "Professor Charles Francis Xavier, also known as Professor X, is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics superhero known as the leader and founder of the X-Men. Throughout most of his comic book history, Xavier is paraplegic, although his body houses one of the world's most powerful mutant minds. As a high-level telepath, Xavier can read, control and influence human minds. A scientific genius, he is also a leading authority on genetics, mutation, and psionic powers.Phoenix is Jean Grey. She is a mutant. Her mutant powers are telepathy..".
"The X-Men are a superhero team in the Marvel Comics Universe.They were created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby....The basic concept of the X-Men is that under a cloud of increasing anti-mutant sentiment, Professor Xavier created a haven at his Westchester mansion to train young mutants to use their powers for the benefit of humanity, and to prove mutants can be heroes. Xavier recruited Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Beast and Jean Grey, calling them "X-Men" because they possess special powers due to their possession of the "X-Gene", a gene normal humans lack but which gives Mutants their abilities. The first issue also introduced the team's arch enemy, Magneto, who would continue to battle the X-Men for decades throughout the comic's history, both on his own and with his Brotherhood of Mutants (introduced in issue #4). (wikipedia) "

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors:,
Visit Zembla:
View Nabokv-L policies:
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:"

Manage subscription options: