Anna Arkadievitch Karenina, transfigured into English by R. G. Stonelower, Mount Tabor Ltd., 1880 (Ada: 1.1)
"R. G. Stonelower" blends George Steiner* with Robert Lowell, but also hints (as I suggest in my article on Pushkin's, Tolstoy's, Mayakovsky's, Pasternak's and VN's optimism "Всё хорошо, что хорошо кончается"**) at Nikifor Lapis-Trubetskoy, a character in Ilf & Petrov's "The Twelve Chairs." The poet-ignoramus whom the editor Persitsky calls Lapsus, Lapis is the author of the immortal phrase "волны перекатывались через мол и падали вниз стремительным домкратом" ("the waves rolled across the pier and fell headlong below like a jack"). Because Lapis doesn't know what a jack is, Persitsky opens a volume of the Brockhaus encyclopaedia and reads: "Домкрат (Germ., Daumkraft) is a machine for lifting heavy weights. A simple jack used for lifting carriages, etc., consists of a mobile toothed bar gripped by a rod which is turned by means of a lever... In 1879 John Dixon set up the obelisk known as Cleopatra's Needle by means of four workers operating four hydraulic jacks." And this instrument, in your opinion, can fall headlong? So Brockhaus has deceived humanity for fifty years?"***
Lapis is Latin for "stone." "Камень" ("The Stone," 1915) was Mandelshtam's first collection of poetry. On the other hand, VN's "faithful Zoilos," the critic Georgiy Adamovich**** mentions the stone in his essay on VN included in his book "Одиночество и свобода" (The Solitude and Freedom, 1955): камень обернулся у него какой-то пушинкой и сочиняет он роман за романом, один другого страшнее и «отчаяннее», с видимым удовольствием и без всякого внутреннего препятствия ("the stone proved with him a light bit of fluff and he composes one novel after another that grow ever more terrifying and "desperate," with visible pleasure and without any inner obstacle").
Chekhov famously compared a novel to a palace: "Чтобы строить роман, необходимо хорошо знать закон симметрии и равновесия масс. Роман – это целый дворец, и надо, чтобы читатель чувствовал себя в нём свободно, не удивлялся бы и не скучал, как в музее" (To build a novel one must know well the law of symmetry and the balance of forms. A novel is a big palace and the reader should be at ease in it, he shouldn't be surprised or bored, as in a museum*****). VN (to whom stones were fluff-light) needed no jacks when he "built" his palatial novels.
пушинка = Пушкина = Книпуша
домкрат + Sosso = дом + Сократ + SOS
пушинка - a bit of fluff******
Пушкина - the poet's wife Natal'ya Pushkin (1812-63), née Goncharov, in the second marriage Lanskoy (cf. Praskovia Lanskoy in Ada, mother of Percy de Prey)
Книпуша - Chekhov's name for his wife, Olga Knipper (1868-1959), who spent several years in Polotnyanyi Zavod, the Goncharov estate near Kaluga, prior to becoming an actress of the Moscow Arts Theatre (whose directors were Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko)
домкрат - jack
Sosso - Khan Sosso, the ruler of the ruthless Sovietnamur Khanate (2.2)
дом - home; house
Сократ - Socrates
The names Olga, of Chekhov's wife, and Socrates, of the philosopher, remind one of Chernyshevsky's wife Olga Sokratovna, a character in VN's The Gift. Another character in this novel is the critic Christopher Mortus (whose review of Fyodor's book "The Life of Chernyshevsky" is a parody of Adamovich's articles in Poslednie novosti). Mortus (whose Latin penname reminds one of Lapis) is a namesake of Ada's brother-in-law Christopher Vinelander - but also of Christopher Columbus.*******
In "The 12 chairs" Bender and Vorob'yaninov visit the Columbus Theatre where they watch an avant-garde stage version of Gogol's comedy "Женитьба" ("The Marriage"). The actor who plays Stepan (Podkolyosin's valet) gives his cues standing on his hands and there are other circus tricks and dialogues that would have baffled the poor author. One is reminded of Van's Mascodagama stunt (1.30), but also of the stage performance ("an American play based by some pretentious hack on a famous Russian romance:" 1.2) watched by Demon Veen, in which Marina Durmanova plays the heroine, a strange cross of Pushkin's Tatiana Larin with Pasternak's Lara Antipov (who has a daughter Tatiana by Zhivago).
Btw., Transfiguration and Mount Tabor are mentioned in Pasternak's poem August (one of "The Poems of Yuri Zhivago"). In his essay on VN, Adamovich speaks of Pasternak's influence on VN's early poetry.
*Stein is German for "stone"
**"All's Well that Ends Well" (the Russian text is available in Topos)
***Chapter 29: "The Author of the Gavriliada"
****there are Ada and Adam in Adamovich
*****Serebrov, "On Chekhov" (III)
******an excerpt from my Russian in-vino-veritas article: «пушинка» – пёрышко пуха, обычно птичьего; ср. Пушкин: «А милый пол, как пух, легок»;[1] ср. Чехов, слова Мымриной о распоротой женихом перине: «И пух-то ведь какой! Пушинка к пушинке – ни одного пёрышка!»;[2] ср. Мандельштам: «Хочешь, валенки сниму, / Как пушинку подниму»[3]
*******Ada's husband Andrey Vinelander is "an Arizonian cattle-breeder whose fabulous ancestor discovered our country" (5.6)
Alexey Sklyarenko 

[1] «Евгений Онегин», Глава Четвёртая, XXI, 8.

[2] «Брак по расчёту» (1884).

[3] «Жизнь упала, как зарница...» (1925).

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