NABOKV-L post 0008640, Wed, 24 Sep 2003 18:57:50 -0700

Subject
Fw: second matings & offspring on Terra and Anti-Terra
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second matings & offspring on Terra and Anti-Terra
----- Original Message -----
From: Carolyn Kunin
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2003 3:21 PM
Subject: second matings & offspring on Terra and Anti-Terra


ADA I.5: Marina: "I loved to identify myself with famous women. There's a ladybird on your plate, Ivan. Especially with famous beauties-Lincoln's second wife or Queen Josephine."

....and come to think of it, "QUEEN" Josephine???!!!


I wonder if part of the solution to this question has something to do with the fact that Josephine (Empress, of course) was first married to Beauharnais and her only child, Eugene de Beauharnais, proves that, although her marriage to Napoleon was without issue, she was not infertile. Napoleon's second marriage to the Austrian Emperor's daughter did result in a child or children, I forget, so he too was not infertile.

Of course there is the possibility that this could cast some light on Kim Beauharnais in Ada. His parentage, perhaps? Ivanovich perhaps? Is he older than Van by at least 8 years (putting Marina at the age of 17 or 18, certainly a possible parental age)?

Another interesting aspect of this is that the marriage of Marie-Luisa and the French emperor was the closest thing in history to the fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast." Poor Marie-Luisa had been raised to think of Napoleon as the actual Anti-Christ, and I think she also believed he was physically deformed, but I would have to check that. In any case the poor thing was terrified at the prospect. Her fiance upon first seeing her ran her upstairs to his bedroom to consummate their marriage before the event*. Luisa was literally swept off her feet and the marriage was a very sexually and emotionally happy one for both. Also fruitful.

The Lincoln side doesn't bring much to my mind. In Ada Lincoln is confused with Milton. The one had two sons and the other two daughters.

Carolyn

* Interestingly in the original 1740 version of "la Belle et la Bete," physical consummation also precedes the wedding.