Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0022121, Tue, 25 Oct 2011 10:58:55 +0300

Van's pregnancy in ADA
When in early September Van Veen left Manhattan for Lute, he was pregnant. (Ada, Part One, 43)

Vivian Darkbloom: the last paragraph of Part One imitates, in significant brevity of intonation (as if spoken by an outside voice), a famous Tolstoyan ending, with Van in the role of Kitty Lyovin.

L. N. Tolstoy, "Anna Karenin" (Part Five, XX, "Death"): The doctor confirmed his suppositions in regard to Kitty. Her indisposition was a symptom that she was with child.

But there is more to it. In a letter of April 4, 1866, to M. S. Bashilov Tolstoy confirms his earlier hypothesis that he was pregnant (with "War and Peace"): "Вы, как видно из присланного вами, в хорошем духе работать. И я тоже не ошибся, говоря вам, что я чувствую себя очень беременным." (I didn't err either when I told you that I felt very pregnant.)

Alexey Sklyarenko

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