NABOKV-L post 0024145, Fri, 3 May 2013 22:13:37 -0700

Subject
Learned cats and their tales
Date
Body
As you see, it is the learned cat who told Pushkin "Ruslan and Lyudmila" when
the poet sat under the green oak.

The learned cat (who is not chained and can go wherever he wants) is also a
character in a folklore version of "The Fairy Tale about Tsar Saltan": У
мория-лукомория стоит дуб, на том дубу золотые цепи, а по тем цепям ходит кот;
вверх идёт — сказки сказывает, вниз идёт — песни поёт.

The learned cat is clearly related to Kot Bayun (of bayukat', "to sing
lullabies"), a character of Russian fairy tales (see the illustration below).

But Quercus Ruslan Chat. hints at Chateaubriand as well. In EO (Four: XXVI: 1-4)
Lenski reads to Olga a moralistic novel

in which the author has more knowledge
of nature than Chateaubriand.

Chateaubriand had a tremendous influence on Pushkin.

Alexey Sklyarenko


Dear Alexey,

I didn't get down to this part of your posting. Kot Bayun - I should have heard
of it, but don't recall (bayu-kat' -- wonderful word for singing a baby to sleep
- as is lull-a-bye now that I think of it). Surely Tsar Saltan is late Pushkin,
and yet the poetry is not as marvelous. Chateaubriand - now there's a taste I
have yet to acquire. Except in the bifstek department, of course.

Can anyone recommend something by Chateaubriand to help me catch the boat? In
what way, Alexey, did Chat. influence SP?

C

p.s. There's another learned cat somewhere - Goffmans Skazki peut-etre? I
remember coming across it when I was translating the odd Lolita story that upset
Dmitri so badly.

Hoffman, I've got to read theTales of Hoffman!



________________________________
From: Carolyn Kunin <chaiselongue@att.net>
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
Sent: Fri, May 3, 2013 10:02:03 PM
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] learned cat


Oh, god - bozhe moi - did Pushkin ever again achieve such heights? Chto dumaesh,
Alexey? Skol'ko let emu bylo kogda on pishel eti stixi? 23? 26? escho ne nashala
PushkinBeylsa.


Carolyn



________________________________
From: Alexey Sklyarenko <skylark1970@MAIL.RU>
To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
Sent: Wed, May 1, 2013 6:21:57 PM
Subject: [NABOKV-L] learned cat


Here is the correct full version of Pushkin's introduction to "Ruslan and
Lyudmila":

У лукоморья дуб зелёный;
Златая цепь на дубе том:
И днём и ночью кот учёный
Всё ходит по цепи кругом;
Идёт направо - песнь заводит,
Налево - сказку говорит.
Там чудеса: там леший бродит,
Русалка на ветвях сидит;
Там на неведомых дорожках
Следы невиданных зверей;
Избушка там на курьих ножках
Стоит без окон, без дверей;
Там лес и дол видений полны;
Там о заре прихлынут волны
На брег песчаный и пустой,
И тридцать витязей прекрасных
Чредой из вод выходят ясных,
И с ними дядька их морской;
Там королевич мимоходом
Пленяет грозного царя;
Там в облаках перед народом
Через леса, через моря
Колдун несёт богатыря;
В темнице там царевна тужит,
А бурый волк ей верно служит;
Там ступа с Бабою Ягой
Идёт, бредёт сама собой,
Там царь Кащей над златом чахнет;
Там русский дух... там Русью пахнет!
И там я был, и мёд я пил;
У моря видел дуб зелёный;
Под ним сидел, и кот учёный
Свои мне сказки говорил.
Одну я помню: сказку эту
Поведаю теперь я свету...

As you see, it is the learned cat who told Pushkin "Ruslan and Lyudmila" when
the poet sat under the green oak.

The learned cat (who is not chained and can go wherever he wants) is also a
character in a folklore version of "The Fairy Tale about Tsar Saltan": У
мория-лукомория стоит дуб, на том дубу золотые цепи, а по тем цепям ходит кот;
вверх идёт — сказки сказывает, вниз идёт — песни поёт.

The learned cat is clearly related to Kot Bayun (of bayukat', "to sing
lullabies"), a character of Russian fairy tales (see the illustration below).

But Quercus Ruslan Chat. hints at Chateaubriand as well. In EO (Four: XXVI:
1-4) Lenski reads to Olga a moralistic novel

in which the author has more knowledge
of nature than Chateaubriand.

Chateaubriand had a tremendous influence on Pushkin.

Alexey Sklyarenko

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