Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0022120, Tue, 25 Oct 2011 01:49:44 +0300

Vera, Nadezhda, Lyubov'
Antonina Pavlovna. This is my daughter Vera, Lyubov' you certainly know, as well as my son-in-law, but as to Nadezhda, I have none. ("The Event," Act Two)

In a letter of January 27, 1878, to Strakhov Leo Tolstoy mentions vera (faith), nadezhda (hope) and lyubov' (love): Ещё пишете, что для верующих всякая бессмыслица хороша, лишь бы пахло благочестием (я бы заменил: лишь бы проникнуто было верою, надеждою и любовью). In a footnote Tolstoy explains: "vera is what I can know, lyubov' is what I should do, nadezhda is what I can hope for."

On the other hand, in a letter of September 23, 1873, to Strakhov Tolstoy mentions vera (faith) and speaks of the murder of Suvorin's first wife by her lover: Я же во время сидений обращаю его из петербургской в христианскую веру и, кажется, успешно. Нынче он мне рассказывал про убийство Сувориной. Какое знаменательное СОБЫТИЕ! (Today he [the painter Kramskoy who made Tolstoy's portrait, or rather two portraits*] told me about the murder of Suvorina. What a significant EVENT!)**

*Troshcheykin, too, loves to make two portraits simultaneously
**see also my post (subject line: "Sobytie") of September 1, 2011

Alexey Sklyarenko

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