NABOKV-L post 0023528, Sat, 22 Dec 2012 01:26:09 +0300

chertog in Ada
Most summers she [Ada] spent at Ardis; most winters in their Kaluga town home - two upper stories in the former Zemski chertog (palazzo). (1.24)

He [Van] was out, he imagined, na progulke (promenading) in the gloomy firwood with Aksakov, his tutor, and Bagrov's grandson, a neighbor's boy, whom he teased and pinched and made horrible fun of, a nice quiet little fellow who quietly massacred moles and anything else with fur on, probably pathological. (Ibid.)

Chertog is mentioned in S. T. Aksakov's fairy tale Alen'kiy tsvetochek ("The Little Scarlet Flower") appended to The Childhood Years of Bagrov Grandson:

Выходит он под конец на поляну широкую, и посередь той поляны широкия стоит дом не дом, чертог не чертог, а дворец королевский или царский, весь в огне, в серебре и золоте и в каменьях самоцветныих, весь горит и светит, а огня не видать; ровно солнушко красное, инда тяжело на него глазам смотреть. (At last he emerged into a wide clearing and there in the centre a fantastic sight met his gaze: neither house nor mansion, but a magnificient royal palace decorated with silver, and gold, and precious stones. It blazed and glittered, but no fire was to be seen. It was like staring into the brilliant sun, and the vision hurt his eyes.)

Pushkin's poem Cleopatra (recited by the improvisatore in The Egyptian Nights, 1835) begins: Chertog siyal (The palace shone).

Chertog has chert (also spelt chort and chyort), devil, in it. They traveled to Kaluga and drank the Kaluga Waters, and saw the family dentist. Van, flipping through a magazine, heard Ada scream and say 'chort' (devil) in the next room, which he had never heard her do before. (1.22)

In The Lipetsk Waters, a comedy (1815) by "caustic" Shahovskoy, Zhukovski is satirized as Fialkin. Fialka being Russian for "violet," Ada calls Violet Knox (old Van's secretary) Fialochka* (5.4).

chertog + B = chert + Bog
luna + Charski = Lunacharski (Bog - Russ., God; luna - Russ., moon; Charski - the author-like figure in The Egyptian Nights; Lunacharski - the minister of Enlightenment in Lenin's government)

*The Night Violet is a poem (1906) by Blok

Alexey Sklyarenko

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