Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0008817, Wed, 29 Oct 2003 09:51:04 -0800

gazebos, summer houses & stainglass panes
_The House by the Dvina: A Russian Childhood_ is a memoir by Eugenie
Fraser, the product of a Russian_Scot marriage, who grew up near
Arkhangelsk in the early years of the 20th century. On the whole, it is a
boring book, but one thing caught my eye:

"Nearby the stone steps, flanked by hawthorn and wild roses, led to the
summer house....Inside there was nothing but the prosaic furnishing of a
plain table, some chairs and, in a glass cupboard, cups and aucers. But
through the coloured diamond-shaped panes of the Gothic windows, light
filtered in rainbow splashes. "Look, Ghermosha," I called out, peering
through a crimson pane, "the garden is on fire." Look through the purple
glass," he called in return. "All is dark and 'Baba Yaga' is hiding in the
bushes." We ran in great excitelent from window to window, seeeing the
garden in all the different hues -- the sinister dark green; the golden
yellow, when the trees, the flowers, the butterflies and even the birds
turned gold. It was strange and mysterious. (167-8.)

D. Barton Johnson