NABOKV-L post 0023146, Sun, 29 Jul 2012 16:28:37 -0700

Re: angels and demons
Airplane accident? did you say 'airplane accident'? Didn't Papa Veen
die in an airplane 'accident'? Oh, yes - I see you mention that. It
seems to me in earlier discussions we analyzed the illustrations by
who? Briusov? No - what was his name?

You know I have always blamed Ada for that 'airplane accident' - but
then I blame her for all unexplained deaths in Ada - even the
explained ones!

p.s. Vrubel'!

On Jul 29, 2012, at 3:44 AM, Alexey Sklyarenko wrote:

A Jew, probably a Komsomol member,
Decided to portray everyday life of the gentry in the old days:
Riding his mortgage[carriage], to the sound of bells,
The landowner hurries to the order for post-horses[inn].

This is Mandelshtam's epigram on Iosif Utkin, a Jewish poet, author of
The Tale about Red Motele (1925). Interestingly, Utkin perished (in
1944) in an airplane accident. At the moment of his death he had in
his hands a book of Lermontov's poems. In Zatish'ye ("Calm;" could VN
have read it? did he knew of the circumstances of Utkin's death? has
he heard of Utkin at all?) Utkin wrote: "Будто лермонтовский ангел /
Душу выронит из рук" ("As if Lermontov's angel will drop the soul from
his arms). The allusion is to Lermontov's poem Angel (1831) in which
the angel carries the young soul in his arms. In Ada (3.7) Demon Veen
perishes in an airplane disaster that is never explained.
Incidentally, Utkin comes from utka, "duck." It rhymes with shutka,

Alexey Sklyarenko
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