'This is where he lives,' she [Lucette] said, looking around, turning around, as he [Van] helped her with wonder and sorrow out of her soft, deep, dark coat, side-thinking (he liked furs): sea bear (kotik)? No, desman (vïhuhol'). (2.5)
In Aldanov's Klyuch ("The Key," 1929) Don Pedro marvels Braun's expensive fur coat and mentally mentions kotik and vyhuhol':
"Чуднaя шубa, - подумaл дон Педро. - Котик не котик, a выхухоль, теперь зa восемьсот рублей не сошьёшь". (Chapter XXXII)
At the beginning of the next chapter of Klyuch an alkaloid of the belladonna type is mentioned:
- Алкaлоид родa беллaдонны, - хмурясь и морщa лоб, повторил вслух Яценко.
(The police believes that Fisher was poisoned. Fedosiev suspects Braun of the murder.)
Don Pedro is a St. Petersburg journalist who becomes a movie man in emigration. On Antiterra, Belladonna is a movie magazine:
Van had seen the picture [the Hollywood version of Four Sisters, as Chekhov's play is known on Antiterra] and had liked it. An Irish girl, the infinitely graceful and melancholy Lenore Colline -
Oh! qui me rendra ma colline
Et le grand chêne and my colleen!
- harrowingly resembled Ada Ardis as photographed with her mother in Belladonna, a movie magazine which Greg Erminin had sent him, thinking it would delight him to see aunt and cousin, together, on a California patio just before the film was released. (2.9)
'Your father,' added Lucette, 'paid a man from Belladonna to take pictures - but of course, real fame begins only when one's name appears in that cine-magazine's crossword puzzle. We all know it will never happen, never! Do you hate me now?'
'I don't,' he said, passing his hand over her sun-hot back and rubbing her coccyx to make pussy purr. 'Alas, I don't! I love you with a brother's love and maybe still more tenderly. Would you like me to order drinks?' (3.5)
Van quotes Onegin's words to Tatiana in Pushkin's Eugene Onegin (Four: XVI: 3-4). Onegin's bobrovyi vorotnik (beaver collar) that silvers with frostdust (One: XVI: 3-4) brings to mind Marina's bobrovaya shuba (fur coat made of the famous kamchatstkiy bobr of ancient Estotian traders, also known as 'lutromarina' on the Lyaska coast) and Ada's bobry:
Ada's bobrï (princely plural of bobr) were a gift from Demon, who as we know, had lately seen in the Western states considerably more of her than he had in Eastern Estotiland when she was a child. (2.6)
In her autobiographical story Dom u starogo Pimena ("The House at Old Pimen," 1934) Marina Tsvetaev describes the last occasion when she saw the historian Ilovayski (the father of her father's late first wife) who wore (in May!) a bobrovaya shuba:
Д. И. Иловайского я в последний раз видела, точней — слышала, накануне открытия Музея Александра III, в мае 1912 года, у нас в доме, в неурочно поздний час... Выглянув из столовой, вижу, как Серёжа, с всё ещё любезной улыбкой слегка подаётся от неуклонно, с бесстрастием Рока надвигающейся на него шубы, в которой (май!) узнаю Д. И. Иловайского. «А то (похлопывая себя по широченному, как у рясы, рукаву) она у меня небось бобровая, как бы (с желчной иронией) по случаю торжества-то — не лишиться!
In his letter from Russia (quoted by VN in his review of Aldanov's Peshchera) Nikonov mentions tomorrow's magazine with a lanky person on the cover and "the last Ilovayski of history:"
Мусенька, понимаете ли вы, какие люциферовы чувства они должны испытывать к нежно любимому Ильичу: "сел, сел-таки на стул! а мы тут стой за стулом, и сейчас, и в завтрашнем журнальчике с верзилой на обложке, и до конца времен, до последнего Иловайского истории! А ведь если б в таком-то году, на таком-то съезде, голосовать не так, а иначе, да на такую-то брошюру ответить вот так, то ведь не он, а я, пожалуй, сидел бы "Давыдычем" на стуле, а он стоял бы у меня за спиной с доброй, товарищески-верноподданнической улыбкой!.." ("The Cave," Part Two, Chapter VI)
Alexey Sklyarenko
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