NABOKV-L post 0023092, Sat, 21 Jul 2012 15:48:21 +0300

Mr Eliot, a Jewish businessman
Van's eye over his umbrella crook traveled around a carousel of Sapsucker paperbacks (with that striped woodpecker on every spine): The Gitanilla, Salzman, Salzman, Salzman, Invitation to a Climax, Squirt, The Go-go Gang, The Threshold of Pain, The Chimes of Chose, The Guitanilla - here a Wall Street, very 'patrician' colleague of Demon's, old Kithar K. L. Sween, who wrote verse, and the still older real estate magnate Milton Eliot, went by without recognizing grateful Van, despite his being betrayed by several mirrors. (Ada, 3.3)

NN говорит, что сочинения К. — недвижимое имущество его: никто не берёт их в руки и не двигает с полки в книжных лавках. (Вяземский, "Старая записная книжка") According to NN, K.'s works are his real estate: no one takes them in the hands or moves from the shelves in book stores. (Vyazemski, The Old Notebook)

The Durmanovs' favorite domain, Raduga (near the burg of that name, beyond Estotiland proper), was sold to Mr Eliot, a Jewish businessman. (1.1)

Daria ('Dolly') Durmanov (Van's maternal grandmother) was the daughter of Prince Peter Zemski, whose name hints at Prince Peter Vyazemski. One of Vyazemski's poems begins: "В сиянье радуга взошла..." ("The rainbow rose in radiance..."). The phrase радужная депеша (the iridescent dispatch) in it brings to mind the opening lines of A. K. Tolstoy's amusing Otryvok (Fragment):

Разных лент схватил он радугу,
Дело ж почты - дело дрянь:
Адресованные в Ладогу,
Письма едут в Еривань.

Note the (imperfect) rhymes Raduga/Ladoga and dryan'/Erivan' (old spelling of Erevan, the Armenian capital). Erevan = Venera (Venus).

Vyazemski's nickname in the Arzamas group was Asmodeus. In his Notebooks (1813-48) Vyazemski refutes that Pushkin called him Demon: Мне известно, что до правительства было доведено в последний мой приезд в Петербург слово, будто сказанное Александром Пушкиным обо мне: вот приехал мой Демон! Этого не сказал Пушкин или сказал да не так.

July 23, 2012, is Vyazemski's 220th birthday. Today is Ada's birthday and the anniversary of Shade's death.

Yesterday (July 20, VDN's birthday) I saw Eshpai's film version of VN's play The Event. Although very close to VN's text, the movie proved to be a disappointment. The director must be mad...

Alexey Sklyarenko

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