Here is the improved version of my latest post (Tapirov & Tapper in Ada), in which two quotes got mixed:

 

As a schoolboy Van is platonically in love with Mrs Tapirov's daughter:

 

A few blocks from the schoolgrounds, a widow, Mrs Tapirov, who was French but spoke English with a Russian accent, had a shop of objets d'art and more or less antique furniture. He visited it on a bright winter day. Crystal vases with crimson roses and golden-brown asters were set here and there in the fore part of the shop - on a gilt-wood console, on a lacquered chest, on the shelf of a cabinet, or simply along the carpeted steps leading to the next floor where great wardrobes and flashy dressers semi-encircled a singular company of harps. He satisfied himself that those flowers were artificial and thought it puzzling that such imitations always pander so exclusively to the eye instead of also copying the damp fat feel of live petal and leaf. When he called next day for the object (unremembered now, eighty years later) that he wanted repaired or duplicated, it was not ready or had not been obtained. In passing, he touched a half-opened rose and was cheated of the sterile texture his fingertips had expected when cool life kissed them with pouting lips. 'My daughter,' said Mrs Tapirov, who saw his surprise, 'always puts a bunch of real ones among the fake pour attraper le client. You drew the joker.' As he was leaving she came in, a schoolgirl in a gray coat with brown shoulder-length ringlets and a pretty face. On another occasion (for a certain part of the thing - a frame, perhaps - took an infinite time to heal or else the entire article proved to be unobtainable after all) he saw her curled up with her schoolbooks in an armchair - a domestic item among those for sale. He never spoke to her. He loved her madly. It must have lasted at least one term. (1.4)

 

As I pointed out before, the widow's name comes from tapir (any of several large, stout, three-toed ungulates of the family Tapiridae, of Central and South America, the Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra, somewhat resembling a swine and having a long, flexible snout). In his poem "֧קݧ ٧ ӧ֧֧ߧߧ֧ ٧֧ݧ֧ߧ..." ("The merry call of the vernal green" 1911) Bryusov mentions a tapirs heavy gait:

 

اܧ ѧڧ

ݧקԧܧڧ ֧֧ ֧ܧ

 

From a tapir's heavy gait

to the light trepidations of dragon-flies.

 

In his devastating essay on Bryusov (in "The Silhouettes of Russian Writers") Yuli Ayhenvald quotes these lines and points out that this tapir, artificially brought from such a distant land for the rhyme's sake alone, tramples down the whole poem:

 

ѧڧ, ڧ ѧܧ ڧܧӧ֧ߧߧ ҧݧ էѧݧ ڧ٧ӧѧߧߧ ڧܧݧڧ֧ݧߧ ѧէ ڧާ, ӧ֧ اܧ ֧ ӧ ڧӧ֧ߧڧ, ߧ ֧ԧ ݧ ߧ֧ܧݧا֧ާ ӧާ֧ѧ֧ݧӧ ҧ٧ѧߧ ާ ֧, ѧ էߧ ӧԧӧڧ ݧ֧էߧڧ ڧ ֧: «ҧݧ֧ էߧ, ֧ߧ ߧ, ӧקߧ, ٧ڧާ»?..

 

According to the critic, to live flowers Bryusov prefers herbarium:

 

, էߧѧܧ, ٧ӧ ڧ֧ߧڧ اڧ٧ߧ, ֧է֧ߧڧ ԧ֧ҧѧڧ ӧ֧ѧ, էާѧ֧,

 

ާا֧, ӧ اڧ٧ߧ ݧڧ ֧էӧ
ݧ ܧ-֧ӧڧ ڧ.

 

Van and Ada discover that they are full brother and sister thanks to Marinas old herbarium they found in the attic of Ardis Hall (1.1). The name of Daniel Veens family estate, Ardis, hints at paradise. In his essay Ayhenvald says that Bryusov in his verses too often mentions paradise C not the one that was lost and regained, though, but ray oposhlennyi (paradise vulgarized):

 

ا ߧ֧ҧ֧էڧާ ܧݧߧߧ ٧ѧڧ֧ܧާ ѧѧ֧ ߧѧ ڧѧ֧ݧ ݧڧܧ ѧ ާڧߧѧ֧ ѧ, ߧ ֧ߧߧ ӧ٧ӧѧקߧߧ, ѧ ݧ֧ߧߧۡ

 

According to Mlle Larivire, in Greek Ardis means the point of an arrow. In Pushkins famous epigram Luk zvenit, strela trepeshchet (From the Anthology,* 1827) Apollo kills Python with an arrow:

 

٧ӧ֧ߧڧ, ֧ݧ ֧֧֧,
, ܧݧҧ, ڧ٧է ڧ;
ӧ ݧڧ ҧ֧է ҧݧ֧֧,
֧ݧӧ֧է֧ܧڧ ݧݧ!
ӧڧݧ ٧ ڧߧ,
ѧ٧ҧڧ ӧ ڧܧѧ?
, ֧ߧڧ ݧݧߧ,
֧ݧӧ֧է֧ܧڧ ڧѧ.

 

According to Ayhenvald, Bryusov persistently bothered Apollo:

 

ާ ߧѧۧڧӧ, ѧ էݧԧ, ݧӧߧ ڧߧէڧۧܧڧ ѧܧڧ, ӧߧѧ ֧ҧ ԧ ӧק ا֧ݧѧߧڧ ҧ , ѧ էܧѧ ݧݧߧ, ѧ ֧է֧ߧߧ ֧էߧ ݧاڧ ߧ֧ӧݧߧڧܧ ڧ, ӧ ߧѧԧѧاէ֧ߧ ֧֧ߧڧ , ӧ ѧܧݧڧ ֧֧ ߧѧާ ڧӧߧ ѧߧڧ, էҧ ڧݧߧ ӧݧ֧, ߧ ݧڧܧ ӧߧ ڧ ߧ֧٧ѧܧߧߧ, ڧ ֧ݧӧ֧֧ܧ ڧاէ֧ߧڧ.

 

The name of Lucettes governess means river and brings to mind Riverlane, Vans boarding school. As to Mrs Tapirov, her name reminds one of Tapper, Vans adversary in a pistol duel in Kalugano. On the day preceding the duel Van recalls his first love:

 

When Van arrived in front of the music shop, he found it locked. He stared for a moment at the harps and the guitars and the flowers in silver vases on consoles receding in the dusk of looking-glasses, and recalled the schoolgirl whom he had longed for so keenly half a dozen years ago - Rose? Roza? Was that her name? Would he have been happier with her than with his pale fatal sister? (1.42)

 

According to Johnny (Vans second), Tapper is an expert on maps.

 

Tapper + map = Papper + mat

 

In her memoir essay on Voloshin, A Living Word about the Living Man (1932), Marina Tsvetaev (the author of a memoir essay on Bryusov, The Hero of Toil, 1925) mentions Maria Papper (a graphomaniac who visited Hodasevich, Voloshin, Bely and Bryusov and pestered them with her poetry). As he tells about his first sexual experience at Riverlane, Van mentions the welcome mat and next mating party:

 

The fact of his having told her he was sixteen and a libertine instead of fourteen and a virgin proved a source of embarrassment to our hell-raker when he tried to bluster his inexperience into quick action but only succeeded in spilling on the welcome mat what she would have gladly helped him to take indoors. Things went better six minutes later, after Cheshire and Zographos were through; but only at the next mating party did Van really begin to enjoy her gentleness, her soft sweet grip and hearty joggle. (1.4)

 

In her essay Moy Pushkin (My Pushkin, 1937) Marina Tsvetaev mentions A. L. Zograf (the head master of the music school in Moscow) and Bryusovs sister Nadezhda Yakovlevna (the schools best student):

 

ѧ, ا֧ӧ: - ԧ, ߧ ݧӧ ߧ ߧݧ, ܧѧ էާѧݧ. ֧ ݧ֧! ا ֧ҧ ѧ ާԧݧ ߧѧӧڧ?

- ѧߧ ߧ֧ԧڧ.

- ӧ֧֧ߧߧѧ է ާ֧ է֧ ݧ! (ҧѧڧӧѧ է֧է֧ާ էڧ֧ܧ ܧݧ, ݧ֧ܧѧߧէ ֧ߧ֧ӧڧ ԧѧ).-  ֧ ٧ߧѧ, ֧֧ ҧէ֧ ӧ էԧ ߧ ڧ٧ӧ٧ڧܧ ߧ ӧ ާ ӧ ӧ: - ѧߧ ߧ֧ԧڧ! ާ ߧ ѧէ, ӧ٧ݧ. էߧާ ֧ҧקߧܧ ާڧ ڧ  ӧ֧ԧ ӧڧէ֧ߧߧԧ ҧ ߧ ߧѧӧڧݧ "ѧߧ ߧ֧ԧڧ", ӧ ҧ ֧էݧ  ѧݧܧ, ާ - ܧѧ٧ܧ, ߧߧ. ާ ߧ ٧ߧѧ, ާߧ ߧ֧ է֧ݧѧ!!!

- ֧ާ, ֧ߧܧ, ѧߧ ߧ֧ԧڧ? - ҧݧ էҧ էڧ֧ܧ.

(, ާݧ, ݧߧާ ݧӧѧާ: - ާ - ݧҧӧ).

- ߧ, ߧѧӧ֧ߧ, ا ֧էާ ӧڧէڧ! - էէѧ ѧէ֧اէ ܧӧݧ֧ӧߧ ӧ {֧ ѧݧ֧ڧ ӧ. - . .}, ߧѧ ݧѧ ѧѧ ֧ߧڧ. - ӧ֧ӧ ٧ߧѧ, ֧ ֧էާ , ܧѧ ާ֧ ԧݧҧڧߧ ߧ ߧ.

 

According to Marina Tsvetaev, at the age of six she fell in love with Onegin and Tatiana. In the Kalugano hospital where Van recovers from the wound he received in his duel with Tapper Tatiana is a beautiful and proud nurse (1.42). Dr Fitzbishop, the surgeon who operated Van, is a poshlyak (vulgarian). Poshlyak and oposhlennyi (cf. Bryusovs  oposhlennyi paradise) come from poshlyi (vulgar).

 

*In Greek, anthologia means gathering of flowers. The name Tsvetaev comes from tsvet, which means both flower and color. Bryusov is the author of Sem tsvetov radugi (Seven Colors of Rainbow, 1915), a collection of poetry. Raduga was the Durmanovs favorite domain (1.1).

 

Alexey Sklyarenko

Google Search
the archive
Contact
the Editors
NOJ Zembla Nabokv-L
Policies
Subscription options AdaOnline NSJ Ada Annotations L-Soft Search the archive VN Bibliography Blog

All private editorial communications are read by both co-editors.