Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0022142, Sat, 5 Nov 2011 13:05:00 +0300

namesakes in "The Event"
As has been pointed out before, Aleksei Maksimovich Troshcheykin (the main character in "The Event," portrait-painter) is a namesake of Gorky (pen name of A. M. Peshkov) and Troshcheykin's mother-in-law, Antonina Pavlovna Opayashin, a namesake (in feminine key) of A. P. Chekhov.

In "The Model on Portraitists" (1922) N. N. Evreinov compares six portraits of himself made by different artists. One of these artists is Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky, VN's "late namesake," while the name of another, S. A. Sorin, reminds one of P. N. Sorin, a character in Chekhov's play "The Seagull" (1896), and Sirin, VN's Russian nom de plume. Pyotr Nikolaevich, the famous writer in "The Event," is a namesake of Chekhov's P. N. Sorin.

Sorin + Khirin = Sirin + Khiron (Khirin - a character in Chekhov's one-act play "The Anniversary;" Khiron - Chiron in Russian spelling; like Chekhov, the centaur Chiron and Ivan Vasilievich* Opayashin, Antonina Pavlovna's late husband, were doctors)

*a namesake of Ivan the Terrible; one of the portraits of Evreinov was made by Ilya Repin, the author of "Ivan the Terrible and his Son Ivan on November 16, 1581;" the idea of this painting (1885) arose in connection with the murder of Alexander II on March 1, 1881 (when Grinevitsky hurled a bomb), and the execution of the terrorists; cf. Vagabundova's words in "The Event" (Act Two):

Может быть, метнёт бомбу?
А, - хватит апломбу?

May be, he [Barbashin] will hurl a bomb?
D'you think he has enough aplomb?

Btw., Aplombov is the name of the bridegroom in Chekhov's one-act play "The Wedding;" the name of one of the guests at the wedding party, Yat', reminds one of Lyubov's words in "The Event" (Act One): "It turned out that I married the character yat'."

Alexey Sklyarenko

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