Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0022160, Wed, 9 Nov 2011 16:09:04 +0300

The hero of Bend Sinister (1947) is the philosopher Adam Krug. Krug means in Russian "circle" and in German "mug; jug" (cf. Russian kruzhka).* One is reminded of Derzhavin's poem "Philosophers, Drunk and Sober" (1789) and Pushkin's celebrated poem "Winter Evening" (1825), with its famous refrain: Vyp'yem s gorya; gde zhe kruzhka? Serdtsu budet veseley. (Let us drink from grief; where is the jug? / The heart will be gayer.)

*In the language spoken in Padukgrad and Omigod ("a mongrel blend of Slavic and Germanic"), kruv means "crow" and kruvka, "bed."

Adam Krug + Paduk = drug + pauk + damka

Adam Krug + root = dramaturg + oko

(Paduk - Krug's former schoolmate, the Ruler; drug - Russ., friend; pauk - spider; damka - king, at draughts; dramaturg - playwright, dramatist; oko - eye)

Alexey Sklyarenko

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