Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0022200, Fri, 25 Nov 2011 19:53:12 +0300

Many readers of "The Event" and those who saw Annenkov's stage version of VN's play, including Khodasevich, were puzzled by Vagabundova's rhymed speech.
In his "Святочная шутка" (A Christmas-Tide Joke, 1830) Vyazemski asks a young woman who traveled in Europe if she saw the devil, if the devil spoke to her in verses or talked nonsense in prose:

Что, говорил ли он стихами
Иль чертовщину прозой драл?

Barboshin talks nonsense in prose, but he quotes the poet Apollon Grigor'yev: "Но вы так хороши, и ночь такая лунная, что я как-то стесняюсь поднимать этот вопрос." ("The Event," Act Three)

In his article in memory of A. S. Suvorin's second wife (Suvorin's first wife was shot dead by her lover) Amfiteatrov mentions Apollon Grigor'yev calling him романтик-вагабунд (a vagabond romantic).

Alexey Sklyarenko

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