NABOKV-L post 0010510, Tue, 2 Nov 2004 18:10:41 -0800

Re: Fwd: RE: Saint George's Day in VN
Hello, Mike!

Sure, I remember about Ivan Nabokov, VN's grand-uncle, who is mentioned in
"Speak, Memory." It seems that he was as good-natured as Van's maternal
grandfather, General Ivan Durmanov, Commander of Yukon Fortress. But I don't
know if general Durmanov's capricious wife, Dolly, resembles in any way the
wife of general Nabokov (who was married to the sister of Pushkin's friend
Pushchin). Probably she doesn't.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Donald B. Johnson" <>
Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 2004 12:38 AM
Subject: Re: Fwd: RE: Saint George's Day in VN

> Yes, Shakespeare's birthday is just traditionally presumed to be April 23;
> all we have to support the presumption is a record of his baptism on April
> 26, 1564. Nabokov's birthday is, as you know, strictly speaking April 22,
> New Style (cf. Speak, Memory)... and VN was probably amused by the way
> 23, still St. George's Day in England despite calendar adjustments, was a
> "fictional" birthday for both him and Shakespeare. Is VN's recurring
> interest in St. George's Day just a secretly embedded signature, sort of
> like "Vivian Darkbloom"? Another self-referential joke?
> As for Dostoevsky, Alexey, I believe that late in the day of the feast of
> St. George, 1849, Dostoevsky was transferred from the Third Section
> headquarters to the Peter and Paul Fortress--which was, of course,
> by one I.A. Nabokov...
> mike donohue
> &gt;From: &quot;Donald B. Johnson&quot; &lt;;
> &gt;Reply-To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum &lt;NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU&gt;
> &gt;Subject: Re: Fwd: RE: Saint George's Day in VN
> &gt;Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2004 07:17:45 -0800
> &gt;
> &gt;According to the Russian church calendar, the so-called
> &quot;svyatsy,&quot; St.
> &gt;George's Day is celebrated on May 6 (by the new style). It corresponds
> to
> &gt;April 23 by the Julian calendar that was used in Russia up to 1917.
> &gt;In the fourth paragraph of ADA, we learn that Aqua Veen married Walter
> D.
> &gt;Veen &quot;on April 23, 1869, in drizzly and warm, gauzy and green
> Kaluga.&quot; Note
> &gt;the time (the 19th century) and the place (the Russian town name).
> &gt;In the novel's third chapter the date is referred to as St. George's
> Day:
> &gt;&quot; April (my favorite month), 1869 (by no means a mirabilic
> year), on
> &gt;St. George's Day (according to Mlle Lariviere's maudlin memoirs) Demon
> Veen
> &gt;married Aqua Veen - out of spite and pity, a not unusual blend.&quot;
> &gt;Demon certainly marries Aqua on the Russian Yur'ev den' -- which means
> that
> &gt;the date (April 23) is by the old style here and so doesn't coincide
> with
> &gt;Nabokov's birthday. Yur'ev den' was the day on which serfs could
> &gt;their lords (and vice versa) in the ancient Russia. It was abolished
> &gt;Boris Godunov (its abolishment is usually considered as the beginning
> &gt;serfdom in Russia). The famous Russian saying: &quot;Vot tebe,
> i Yur'ev
> &gt;den'!&quot; (roughly, &quot;here's a fine how-d'ye-do!&quot;)
> in those days. It
> &gt;is famously used in Pushkin's drama &quot;Boris Godunov&quot; (the
> &quot;Korchma na
> &gt;litovskoy granitse,&quot; the aparte words of Grigoriy Otrepiev).
> &gt;When Van contemplates suicide (2.11, end of the novel's Part Two), he
> &gt;remembers that his father Demon has once played Boris Godunov &quot;in
> an amateur
> &gt;parody&quot; [of Pushkin's drama]. Van wants to shoot himself, but his
> attempt at
> &gt;suicide fails. Or, rather, that attempt proves a parody of suicide
> he
> &gt;appears to hold a comb, instead of a pistol, in his hand. Wwe are made
> to
> &gt;think, though, that it is Aqua's spirit that has somehow saved his
> &gt;However that may be, I'm quite sure that Aqua loses her freedom on
> Yur'ev
> &gt;den'. Yur'ev den' played also a fateful role in Dostoevsky's life (he
> was
> &gt;arrested on that day in 1849). I won't discuss Dostoevsky at length
> here,
> &gt;just allow me to add that the last words of poor mad Mar'ya Lebyadkin
> &gt;Dostoevsky's novel Besy (&quot;The Devils&quot;) that Mar'ya's husband
> Stavrogin hears
> &gt;her shouting after him are: &quot;Grishka Otrepiev is anathema!&quot;
> She accurses him
> &gt;(her husband) that way, and, at the end of the novel (when Mar'ya is
> already
> &gt;dead) Stavrogin commits suicide.
> &gt;
> &gt;Alexey
> &gt;----- Original Message -----
> &gt;From: &quot;Donald B. Johnson&quot; &lt;;
> &gt;Sent: Monday, November 01, 2004 7:43 AM
> &gt;Subject: Fwd: RE: Saint George's Day in VN
> &gt;
> &gt;
> &gt; &gt; I may have missed earlier posts... I assume someone already
> that St.
> &gt; &gt; George's Day is Nabokov's (passport) birthday.
> &gt; &gt;
> &gt; &gt;
> &gt; &gt; &amp;
> &gt;
> &gt;----- End forwarded message -----
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