NABOKV-L post 0003284, Mon, 10 Aug 1998 10:23:47 -0700

Re: Nabokov's story "Krasavitsa" [A Russian Beauty] (fwd)
>From "Peter A. Kartsev" <>

Although this does little to clarify the story itself (if it needs
clarification), my wife has just pointed out to me that its heroine,
Olga, seems to have sisters, or at least cousins, in Nabokov's later
works: one Liza Bogolepov, for instance, also clad in a black jumper and
quick to pounce on a rhyme. Or Lyuba Savich in LATH!, who appears in the
story in 1934, the very same year that Nabokov wrote "A Russian Beauty".
"Her very refinement had a dainty edge of vulgarity that infested with
the sweetness of decay her entire personality" (Penguin edition, p.72).

Incidentally, I have a query of my own regarding the story. It has to do
with Forstmann, the Russified German, who "knew how to to form,
instantly and while no one noticed, an eternal friendship with a dog or
with a child". This rings a distant bell: wasn't there a story by Stefan
Zweig, whom VN no doubt despised, where somebody used just such a
friendship with a little boy in order to get acquainted with his mother?
Memory refuses to provide a title, and I have no access to anything by
Zweig right now, but maybe somebody would be interested enough to look
up a possible parallel.

Apart from that I would be very grateful for the title of the fairy tale
quoted in the last line of the story. The quote strikes me as being very
unlike any Russian fairy tale I ever read - but then, I was never a fan.