Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0008915, Sat, 15 Nov 2003 21:42:15 -0800

Fw: Fw: Mr Livry's Skazka (Fairy tale)
EDNOTE. NABOKV-L thanks Vladimir Mylnikov for his close comments on Mr.
Livry's prose.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Vladimir Mylnikov" <vmylnikov@yahoo.com>

> Thanks to Sergey Karpukhin who directed the list to
> the recently discussed short story "Skazka" by Mr
> Livry. (SK's comments reproduced at end.)
> I believe that there is one more allusion to Nabokov
> in Mr Livry's story. He says, "na serom v iablokakh
> kone," which to me is a reflection of a line from
> Nabokov's poem, "Pianyi rytzar'" - "na kone v serykh
> iablokakh."
> There is another obvious allusion in the story ? the
> allusion-hybrid of A.Fet and I.Bunin.
> Mr. Livry says, "shelest, legkoe dykhan'e, izymrydnyi
> vzmakh."
> It comes from Fet's poem, "Shopot, robkoe dykhan'e..."
> and Bunin's short story, "Legkoe dykhan'e."
> As to Mr Livry's style, to me, he has a good eye and
> some comparisons are fresh, (although there are a few
> disasters - "babochkiny trupy" - it should be - trupy
> babochek or "razdavila nogtem chudovish'nyi prysh' na
> lbu magnitofona" - first, pryshi, dazhe chudovish'nye,
> (furunkuly) daviatsia dvymia nogtiami, second,
> "chudovish'nye pryshi (v edinstvennom chisle) na lbu -
> bol'shaia ekzotika.
> The seduction scene is depicted, I would say, with a
> house painting brush rather than with a sable one.
> Here we have "trusy, shirinka..."
> Finally, I am not sure if it is correct to compare
> Nabokov's style with Mr Livry?s.
> From the point of composition the piece is rather weak
> - it was pretty clear from the beginning of the story
> that the main character (Chernookov) will lose his
> dear possessions.
> Also, the action goes from point one to point two like
> a math riddle - A train from Point One comes to Point
> Two at six o'clock at 50 miles per hour - how many
> passengers were on the train?
> Finally, I am not sure if the title "Skazka" really
> reflects the story.
> Best, V.M.
> -------------------------------------------------------------
Sergey Karpukhin's comments

> A short note on "Skazka," Mr Livry's Russian short
> story:
> I've spotted two Nabokov allusions: 1) there is a book
> by Kaliban Mirvodov (an anagram of Vladimir Nabokov)
> in a house where protagonist gets robbed of his
> smuggled emeralds, a wallet full of 1000-dollar
> banknotes, and a book where he is jotting down his
> verse; 2) someone in that house also says "??? ????,
> ??? ? ?????? ??? ???", which is a sentence stolen from
> Luzhin's father.
> Funny thing: the story is marked "Prison [????????????
> ????????, something like detention centre] of the
> Canton of Basel-Stadt, March 2003". And this after we
> know the protagonist threw a hand-grenade through a
> window of the house where he had been robbed.
> On the whole Mr Livry's style indeed surpasses
> Nabokov's in that Mr Livry has appropriated and
> greatly enhanced VN's flashy side and added a bit of
> the now modish naturalism.
> Amusedly,
> Sergey Karpukhin
> www.the-nr.irk.ru
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