ا ѧߧԧݧڧѧߧڧ ֧֧ ҧԧߧѧ ާ֧ߧ. ֧ݧܧ, ٧ѧէߧ ӧ֧ ڧ, ӧڧӧѧ ֧ԧ, ٧ѧާ֧ڧ, ܧѧ, ߧ ܧݧ٧ߧ ҧݧڧ ѧܧӧѧާѧڧߧӧ ԧݧѧ٧, ӧѧݧקߧߧ ݧ٧ԧ, ѧާ ܧߧڧܧ ٧ܧ ާݧߧڧ֧ߧߧ ҧݧڧ٧ߧݧ. ާѧڧߧѧݧߧ ާ֧ է ا ӧڧէ֧ ڧߧ.

 

Presently the same Englishman overtook me. As I absorbed him along with the rest, I happened to notice the sudden side-roll of his big blue eye straining at its crimson canthus, and the way he rapidly moistened his lipsbecause of the dryness of those sponges, I thought; but then I followed the direction of his glance, and saw Nina.

 

In Vesna v Fialte (1936), the Russian original of VNs story Spring in Fialta, the Englishman has bolshoy akvamarinovyi glaz (a big aquamarine eye). The epithet seems to hint at Marina Tsvetaev, the poet whose first name rhymes with Nina. At the end of his essay Dekoltirovannaya loshad (The Horse in a Dcollet Dress, 1927), Khodasevich quotes the opening lines of Marina Tsvetaevs poem To Mayakovski (1921):

 

էߧѧاէ, ߧ ѧ էѧӧߧ, ѧڧߧ ӧ֧ѧ֧ӧ ҧѧڧݧѧ ѧܧӧܧާ ڧѧާ:

  

֧ӧ ֧ܧӧ֧ ,

اէקߧߧ ԧߧ էާ,

ѧߧԧ֧-ا֧ݧ,

էӧ ӧ֧ܧѧ, ݧѧէڧާڧ!

 

ѧا֧, ҧ էڧ ڧ ݧ֧էߧڧ ڧ֧ܧڧ ڧӧ֧, ݧѧߧߧ ѧܧӧܧާ. ֧, "ا֧ݧ" ѧݧ ӧ֧֧ ֧ҧ ӧ֧ڧ ߧ ߧ֧ԧ ҧѧߧ.

 

Khodasevichs essay begins: Imagine a horse that imitates an old Englishwoman (see my previous post).

 

In the closing line of her poem To Mayakovski Marina Tsvetaev calls VNs late namesake lomovoy archangel (the dray archangel, a play on lomovoy izvozchik, drayman):

 

էӧ, ҧݧاߧ ԧ!

֧ӧߧ, ܧ٧ߧ ߧӧ

ԧݧҧݧ֧ ԧ֧ҧק ܧݧ

ѧߧԧ֧ݧ ݧާӧԧ.

 

At the beginning of VNs story the narrator mentions izvozchiki (those youthful cabmen) on the picture postcards:

 

ѧݧ֧ܧ, ҧݧ֧էߧ ӧ֧, ߧ֧ӧߧ ѧާ ڧߧ֧ӧѧ էާ, է էߧӧڧ ܧݧ֧ ڧڧ (ܧݧѧէҧڧ֧ߧܧڧ ܧڧѧڧ ߧ֧ ٧ ߧڧާ), ѧݧӧѧ ֧֧ߧߧѧ ԧ . ֧ԧڧ ާ֧ߧ֧ ֧ ܧԧէ-ݧڧҧ ا ߧ ӧ֧ߧ ߧڧާܧ ߧ֧, ܧ ا ڧ اڧէѧ ( է֧ӧ է֧ԧ ԧէ, ڧާ֧ߧ, է ݧѧ էѧ ާݧէ ڧ٧ӧ٧ڧܧ), ֧ߧ ٧ѧӧ֧ ܧѧ֧ݧ ӧ֧ ۧܧ ާ֧اէ ܧѧݧ ܧѧާߧ ѧާ֧ڧӧ ܧڧѧݧݧѧ  ާܧڧ ܧܧ ѧܧӧڧ.

 

Everything is damp: the piebald trunks of the plane trees, the juniper shrubs, the railings, the gravel. Far away, in a watery vista between the jagged edges of pale bluish houses, which have tottered up from their knees to climb the slope (a cypress indicating the way), the blurred Mount St. George is more than ever remote from its likeness on the picture postcards which since 1910, say (those straw hats, those youthful cabmen), have been courting the tourist from the sorry-go-round of their prop, among amethyst-toothed lumps of rock and the mantelpiece dreams of seashells.

 

Describing Fialta, the narrator mentions an orange tiger and the fooled elephants on the circus billboards:

 

ݧڧ ҧݧ ӧ ѧܧѧ ا ӧݧѧاߧѧ, ߧ֧اڧӧݧקߧߧѧ; ѧէ, ӧݧߧڧ ѧѧܧ ާ ѧާ, ߧ֧ݧ ڧ ԧݧ ܧ ҧݧ֧էߧ էާ; ߧ֧ҧݧѧ ܧާѧߧڧ ܧާѧ ٧ѧߧڧާѧݧѧ ѧߧڧ֧ ӧ٧է ߧѧ ާڧާ٧, ܧѧ ӧ֧ݧ, ܧѧӧ է ѧާ ٧֧ާݧ; էӧ ѧҧڧ ڧܧڧ ݧѧ ٧ѧܧӧѧݧ ֧ߧܧ, ڧݧߧڧӧڧ ѧڧߧ էܧ, ߧ ܧ ҧݧ ߧѧܧݧ֧֧ߧ ԧѧ, ܧڧ֧ݧ ѧ ѧߧا֧ӧ ڧԧ ߧ ҧ֧ݧ էܧݧѧէܧ, ڧק ֧ާݧ֧ߧڧ է֧ݧѧ ֧ԧ ܧѧ ާاߧ ӧڧ֧֧ էاߧڧ ٧ѧ֧ ѧ էѧݧ֧ܧ, ӧ֧ߧݧ էԧ ߧ, ڧէѧ ֧ԧ ާէ ܧ- ֧ݧӧ֧֧ܧ.

 

Outside it was just as milky dull as before; the same smell of burning, stirring my Tartar memories, drifted from the bare windows of the pale houses; a small swarm of gnats was busy darning the air above a mimosa, which bloomed listlessly, her sleeves trailing to the very ground; two workmen in broad-brimmed hats were lunching on cheese and garlic, their backs against a circus billboard, which depicted a red hussar and an orange tiger of sorts; curiousin his effort to make the beast as ferocious as possible, the artist had gone so far that he had come back from the other side, for the tigers face looked positively human.

 

ѧѧӧݧ ԧڧߧڧ, ާ ݧ ާڧާ ֧ ߧ է֧ߧߧ, ֧ ߧ ӧߧ, ҧ֧ݧ ӧڧݧݧ, ߧ ֧ߧ ܧ:  ӧ ا ݧߧ, ѧѧӧ էӧڧߧ-ާݧѧէ֧ߧ֧ܧڧ ܧݧ֧ߧ, ڧէ֧ݧ ߧ ާҧڧѧ; ڧߧ ѧܧѧ ߧѧ֧٧էߧڧ (ا ߧѧէڧӧѧߧߧާ ѧާ) էѧݧ ߧ ݧ ܧߧ; ܧݧ ާѧӧ ߧ ק ܧѧߧѧ, է֧ا ٧ߧڧ, ڧ٧ܧѧ֧ߧߧ ӧ ֧ާ ا ٧ӧ֧٧էѧާ: ާߧ ӧާڧߧѧߧڧ ߧ֧ҧ֧ߧ էڧߧ ڧܧѧ֧.

 

On our way to the hotel, we passed a half-built white villa, full of litter within, on a wall of which again the same elephants, their monstrous baby knees wide apart, sat on huge, gaudy drums; in ethereal bundles the equestrienne (already with a penciled mustache) was resting on a broad-backed steed; and a tomato-nosed clown was walking a tightrope, balancing an umbrella ornamented with those recurrent starsa vague symbolic recollection of the heavenly fatherland of circus performers.

 

In Marina Tsvetaevs memoir essay on Bryusov, Geroy truda (The Hero of Toil, 1925), Tsvetaevs little daughter Alya (Ariadna Efron) compares Bryusov to Shere Khan (the tiger in Kiplings Jungle Book). In his poem My (We, 1927) Khodasevich (who was married to Nina Berberov) mentions tigry i slony (the tigers and elephants) that wept when Orpheus sang to them about his wife:

 

ާէ ާݧ֧ߧߧ ֧֧
ѧާߧ ӧ֧ݧ֧ӧѧ ֧ӧ֧ ֧.

 

֧ݧ֧ ާէ ܧѧާߧ ٧֧ާߧ?
ާէ ֧ݧ֧ ҧ ݧѧէ ڧ.

 

ѧ ֧, ߧ ѧӧѧ -
ܧѧާ֧ߧ էڧܧڧ ߧ էҧ ӧѧӧѧ

 

ק - ҧݧѧا֧ߧߧ ݧ֧ ҧ֧ݧ ߧ.
ԧէ ާڧ ӧѧݧ ֧ӧ ӧ٧է.

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

ԧէ ӧ٧էѧݧ ڧԧ ݧߧ
֧ݧ֧ ֧֧ӧ ا֧ߧ -

 

ܧѧާ֧ߧߧ ڧ ٧ӧ֧ڧߧ ާ
ԧէ ӧ֧ӧ ӧݧڧݧڧ - ާ.

 

By charming Hades, Orpheus managed to obtain the permission to lead away from the underworld his wife Eurydice. In VNs story the narrator cannot imagine any heavenly firm that would arrange him a meeting with Nina beyond the grave:

 

֧֧ ާ ӧڧէ֧ݧڧ ާѧߧߧ קݧ ڧѧݧ, ߧ ާ ҧ Ҩݧڧ ڧ٧֧ӧ ѧ٧էߧӧѧ ӧڧէѧߧڧ (֧֧ߧ֧, ӧڧߧ֧ܧѧާ ܧ ܧѧ֧ߧߧާ, ӧ֧ ֧اߧڧ ٧ѧݧ էҧ), ٧ߧѧ էѧا, ߧ ݧ֧էߧ֧; ݧ֧էߧ֧,  ԧӧ; ڧҧ ߧ ߧڧ ֧էѧӧڧ ֧ҧ ߧڧܧѧܧ ߧߧ ԧѧߧڧ٧ѧڧ, ܧѧ ԧݧѧڧݧѧ ҧ ڧ ާߧ ߧӧ ӧ֧ ߧ֧ ٧ ԧҧ.

 

This time we had met in warm and misty Fialta, and I could not have celebrated the occasion with greater art, could not have adorned with brighter vignettes the list of fates former services, even if I had known that this was to be the last one; the last one, I maintain, for I cannot imagine any heavenly firm of brokers that might consent to arrange me a meeting with her beyond the grave.

 

Re hymen: in the Russian original of VNs story the narrator mentions soyuz mezhdu ventsom i smertyu (the union between wedding crown and death; to drop ones engagement ring during the wedding ceremony is a bad sign). Hymen appears only in the English version and seems to hint at the beginning of Pushkins letter of Feb. 20, 1826, to Delvig (who just married Sophia Saltykov):

 

է ҧѧ, ߧ ֧ҧ ߧ էݧ էݧԧ ӧ ާݧѧߧڧ ӧ֧ݧڧܧէߧ ڧ٧ӧڧߧ ӧڧ ڧާ֧ߧ֧֧

 

Io hymen Hymenaee io,

Io hymen Hymenaee!

 

. e. ҧ֧ ӧѧ ӧѧէҧ, ӧѧէҧ ӧѧ ҧ֧. ԧէ է٧ ާ ا֧ߧ, ڧ ާ֧, ާߧ ԧ; ߧ ѧ ҧ: ѧ ѧӧ֧ ԧӧڧ էߧ ڧ ӧڧ ݧѧߧڧ, ݧ ӧ٧ ֧ҧ ا֧ߧ, ֧ ڧէ ԧ֧֧ߧߧ ӧ ԧߧ ӧ֧ߧ ҧߧڧާѧ ٧էѧӧݧ ֧ҧ ֧ܧާ֧ߧէ ާ֧ߧ ҧѧߧ֧ ֧ݧӧڧ.

 

In his essay Krovavaya pishcha (Bloody Food, 1932) Khodasevich accuses Delvigs depraved wife and polite Benckendorf (the chief of the political police of Nicholas I) of Delvigs early death:

 

ߧӧ ڧէק ֧֧է: ԧݧէߧ , «ҧݧѧԧݧߧ» ֧اѧӧڧ, ֧էѧߧߧ ܧѧ֧ڧߧ ֧էѧߧߧ ܧѧ֧ڧߧ; ڧ٧ާ֧ߧߧ ٧ѧӧڧߧڧܧѧާ ٧֧; ֧ݧӧڧ, ӧ֧էקߧߧ ާԧڧݧ ѧ٧ӧѧߧ ا֧ߧ ӧ֧اݧڧӧ ֧ߧܧ֧ߧէ; ҧ֧٧ާ֧ӧڧ «ӧڧߧ » ѧ ֧ҧ ާڧӧڧ ԧݧ; էѧݧ ݧ, ڧܧڧڧ, ߧѧ; ٧ѧ֧է֧ߧߧ է٧ާ ҧ֧اѧӧڧ ߧڧ, ֧ާ ܧէ ԧݧѧ٧ ԧݧէ, ߧ, ާ֧, ֧ ݧ; ٧ѧէ֧ߧߧ ݧ, ٧ѧԧߧѧߧߧ ҧݧ֧ӧڧܧѧާ ֧֧ߧ٧, էӧ֧է֧ߧߧ է ֧ݧ ֧ߧڧ.

 

In his EO Commentary VN points out that the wake commemorating Delvigs death was held by his friends (including Pushkin) on Jan. 27, 1831, exactly six years before Pushkins fatal duel. The name of Pushkins adversary, George dAnths, brings to mind the Mount St. George mentioned by the narrator of VNs story.

 

Alexey Sklyarenko

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