NABOKV-L post 0022780, Wed, 2 May 2012 22:34:55 -0700

from Kalmakov to Fulmerford
The 1913 painting in the Nabokov family's pre-revolutionary collection
by Kalmakov may have been entitled "Death", but what is actually
depicted? The scene is clearly submarine but the human curled up in
the corner appears to be asleep, not dead - my guess is he is Sadko.
Unfortunately I remember very little of the story, if I ever knew
anything at all. If he is Sadko (who I think survives his visit to the
sea floor) who is the stalking angel on the right? Is the "hat" a
pagoda-like structure (as I first thought) or a seashell (a winkle

C Kunin

p.s. The artist's knowledge of submarine fauna is extraordinary for
its time - could Kalmakov have known the work of Ernst Haeckl (1834 -
1919)? I remember Haeckl came up in my attempt to trace the word
lemans which appears in "Ada" - very convoluted, but I include an
outline below.* The depiction of submarine vent/plant/animals is also
extraordinary for 1913.

* From the archives I was able to unspool the following thread of my
thinking: from Fulmerford I got to [invented] Dr Lemuroff, and from
there to lemur and Lemuria (Pacific counterpart to Atlantis, cf also
Kitezh) and from there to Darwinian Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (who
invented the idea of Lemuria) and from him to Blavatsky's Lemurians
[related to occult ideas about Thule, btw] and finally back to "Ada"
and what I called "those lemans" which now I can't remember for the
life of me. Or was it a lake?

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