After helping her to nurse Andrey at Agavia Ranch through a couple of acrimonious years (she begrudged Ada every poor little hour devoted to collecting, mounting, and rearing!), and then taking exception to Ada's choosing the famous and excellent Grotonovich Clinic (for her husband's endless periods of treatment) instead of Princess Alashin's select sanatorium, Dorothy Vinelander retired to a subarctic monastery town (Ilemna, now Novostabia) where eventually she married a Mr Brod or Bred, tender and passionate, dark and handsome, who traveled in eucharistials and other sacramental objects throughout the Severnïya Territorii and who subsequently was to direct, and still may be directing half a century later, archeological reconstructions at Goreloe (the 'Lyaskan Herculanum'); what treasures he dug up in matrimony is another question. (3.8)


In his Issledovanie dogmaticheskogo bogosloviya (“A Study of the Dogmatic Theology,” 1884) Leo Tolstoy speaks of the sacrament of the Eucharist and uses the phrase koshchunstvennyi bred (a blasphemous nonsense):


Этим кончaется изложение тaинствa евхaристии. Оно зaняло восемьдесят стрaниц. Всё, что было тут изложено, весь этот кощунственный бред, всё это основaно Иисусом Христом. (chapter XVI)


bred + mrak/Mark + vrag/Gavr + brod = brak/krab + vred + grad + brom


bred – delirium; nonsense

mrak – darkness

Mark – one of the Evangelists

vrag – enemy

Gavr – Le Havre (a city and port in N France) in Russian spelling

brod – ford

brak – marriage; matrimony; waste; defective products

krab – crab

vred – harm

grad – arch., city; hail

brom – bromine; bromide; cf. Quina and Brom, Chekhov’s dachshunds (the grandparents of Box II, the Nabokovs’ dachshund)


In my previous post “dogro” (a misprint) should be dobro (“good”).


It was Stephen Jan Parker (1939-2016) who proposed The Leonardo as the English title of VN’s story Korolyok (1933). I owe to Professor Parker several issues of The Nabokovian that he kindly sent to me.


Alexey Sklyarenko

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

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