Lemorio's agents, an elderly couple, unwed but having lived as man and man for a sufficiently long period to warrant a silver-screen anniversary, remained unsplit at table between Yuzlik, who never once spoke to them, and Van, who was being tortured by Dorothy. As to Andrey (who made a thready 'sign of the cross' over his un-unbuttonable abdomen before necking in his napkin), he found himself seated between sister and wife. He demanded the 'cart de van' (affording the real Van mild amusement), but, being a hard-liquor man, cast only a stunned look at the 'Swiss White' page of the wine list before 'passing the buck' to Ada who promptly ordered champagne. He was to inform her early next morning that her 'Kuzen proizvodit (produces) udivitel'no simpatichnoe vpechatlenie (a remarkably sympathetic, in the sense of "fetching," impression),' The dear fellow's verbal apparatus consisted almost exclusively of remarkably sympathetic Russian common-places of language, but - not liking to speak of himself - he spoke little, especially since his sister's sonorous soliloquy (lapping at Van's rock) mesmerized and childishly engrossed him. Dorothy preambled her long-delayed report on her pet nightmare with a humble complaint ('Of course, I know that for your patients to have bad dreams is a zhidovskaya prerogativa'), but her reluctant analyst's attention every time it returned to her from his plate fixed itself so insistently on the Greek cross of almost ecclesiastical size shining on her otherwise unremarkable chest that she thought fit to interrupt her narrative (which had to do with the eruption of a dream volcano) to say: 'I gather from your writings that you are a terrible cynic. Oh, I quite agree with Simone Traser that a dash of cynicism adorns a real man; yet I'd like to warn you that I object to anti-Orthodox jokes in case you intend making one.' (3.8)


Darkbloom (Notes to Ada): cart de van: Amer., mispronunciation of carte des vins; zhidovskaya: Russ. (vulg.), Jewish.


In his essay Ubiytsa lebedey (The Slayer of Swans, 1916) Merezhkovski quotes Prosperos words (We are such stuff / As dreams are made on, and our little life / Is rounded with a sleep) in Shakespeares Tempest (Act IV, scene 1) and says that war is a bad dream of mankind:


ԧէ-ߧڧҧէ, ӧ֧, ߧѧѧߧ֧ է֧ߧ,

ԧէ ӧ էߧ ӧڧէ֧ߧ,

ѧާ, ܧߧ էӧ,

ѧާ ӧ֧ߧѧߧߧ ҧѧߧ,

ѧާ ߧѧ ӧ֧ݧڧܧڧ ѧ ٧֧ާߧ,

ӧ֧, ߧק ߧѧէڧ ߧߧ,

֧٧ߧ֧ ӧ, ݧ֧է ߧ ѧӧݧ.

ѧާ ާ ӧ֧֧ӧ֧ߧߧ, ܧѧ ߧ,

ߧѧ ѧާڧ է ߧӧڧէ֧ߧ,

ߧѧ اڧ٧ߧ ݧڧ ߧ ܧا֧ߧ.


ڧ٧ߧ . ߧ ҧӧѧ էߧ ڧ. ۧߧ էߧ ֧ݧӧ֧֧ӧ.

Life is a dream. Dreams can be bad and good. War is a bad dream of mankind.


In his article Lev Tolstoy i tserkov ("Leo Tolstoy and the Church," 1908) Merezhkovsky compares Tolstoy (the author of War and Peace, 1869) to the greatest of volcanoes and the most intoxicating and sparkling of wines:


ܧѧܧڧ ާ ߧ ߧ ֧ «ݧڧ֧ѧߧ ާ֧٧ѧӧ», ߧ ߧѧ ڧߧԧէ ާ֧ ߧ, ܧѧ ѧާ ԧާߧ ڧ ӧݧܧѧߧ ֧ӧѧѧ ܧѧܧ- ҧ֧٧ѧߧ ܧ ܧڧݧܧ, ѧާ ߧ, ڧԧѧ֧ ڧ ӧڧ ܧѧܧ- ӧէ ٧֧ݧ֧ܧ ӧէ.


According to Merezhkovski, the Orthodox Church wants to transform the greatest volcano into a safely smoking censer and the most intoxicating and sparkling wine into a seltzer water.

Btw., Jesus Christ (who, they say, could turn water into wine) was Jewish.


In his essay Vlast idey (The Power of Ideas, 1905), a review of Merezhkovskis book Tolstoy and Dostoevski (1902), the philosopher Lev Shestov (who was Jewish) says that he always hoped that Merezhkovski would be the first writer to demand for prose the magna charta libertatis which is long considered poetrys neosporimaya prerogativa (indisputable prerogative):


ӧ֧ԧէ ߧѧէ֧ݧ, . ֧֧اܧӧܧڧ, ܧ֧ ֧ ܧ-ߧڧҧէ էԧ, ֧ڧ ֧ҧӧѧ էݧ ٧ magna charta libertatis, ܧѧ ا էѧӧߧ ڧѧ֧ ߧ֧ڧާ ֧ԧѧڧӧ ٧ڧ. (II)


The name Shestov (assumed by Jehuda Leyb Shvartsman) comes from shest (six). At the dinner in the Bellevue Hotel there are seven people (Lemorio's agents, Yuzlik, Van, Andrey and Dorothy Vinelander, Ada). 6 + 7 = 13. In Merezhkovskis The Slayer of Swans (a parable that begins with a retelling of Villier de lIisle Adams Le Tueur de Cygnes) there are thirteen birds (at night twelve of them are asleep and the thirteenth black swan is on the guard):


٧ѧ ֧֧ӧ֧ߧߧ ߧѧܧ, ٧ߧѧާ֧ߧڧ էܧ ڧҧݨ ߧާ ٧ߧѧ, ݧ֧ҧ֧է , ާڧѧ. ֧ާ ٧ѧ֧ݧ ݧѧ ާ٧ܧ.

է֧ާ֧, ܧڧߧ ѧܧ, ֧ߧ ӧ֧ܧӧ է֧֧ӧ֧, ߧѧק է֧ӧߧڧ, ӧ֧ߧߧ , ԧէ էӧ֧ߧѧէѧ ڧڧ ڧ ܧݧ٧ڧݧ קާߧާ ٧֧ܧѧݧ ӧ. קߧ ݧ֧ҧ֧է اڧ ڧ ߧѧ, ҧէӧ, ڧܧ ܧާ ԧݧѧ٧ѧާ; էݧڧߧߧ, ٧ӧ ܧݧӧ է֧اѧ ԧݧѧէܧڧ ܧѧާ֧ߧ, ܧ ߧ ӧէ ާѧݧ֧֧ۧ ֧ӧԧ, , ݧѧ ѧէ֧ߧڧ, ѧ٧ݧ֧ѧݧڧ ݧ֧ҧ֧է.


In Mont Roux Van puts up at Les Trois Cygnes (The Three Swans):


arriving mont roux bellevue sunday

dinnertime adoration sorrow rainbows


Van got this bold cable with his breakfast on Saturday, October 10, 1905, at the Manhattan Palace in Geneva, and that same day moved to Mont Roux at the opposite end of the lake. He put up there at his usual hotel, Les Trois Cygnes. (3.8)


In the lounge of Les Trois Cygnes there is an oil (replaced by another painting when Van revisits the hotel in 1922) showing three ample-haunched Ledas:


In the lounge, as seen through its entrance, the huge memorable oil - three ample-haunched Ledas swapping lacustrine impressions - had been replaced by a neoprimitive masterpiece showing three yellow eggs and a pair of plumber's gloves on what looked like wet bathroom tiling. (Part Four)


In Merezhkovskis Slayer of the Swans Dr Tribulat Bonhomet wears a pair of steel gloves:


էߧѧاէ ֧ߧߧ קާߧ ߧ, ާڧާ ҧ֧ߧߧڧ֧, ߧާ ӧѧ է֧ݧ ߧѧߧ ڧԧӧݧ֧ߧߧ ݧѧ: ԧާߧ ԧѧ֧֧ӧ ѧԧ ߧ קݧ էܧݧѧէܧ, էݧاѧӧڧ, ҧ֧ ӧ, ߧ֧ާܧѧ֧ާ ܧܧ, ѧܧ ا קݧ, ѧ ѧݧߧ ܧѧӧڧ, ֧էߧ֧ӧ֧ܧӧ է֧ ѧܧڧ ( ڧҧ֧ ֧ԧ էѧӧ է֧ӧߧ֧).


Leda (1894) is a poem by Merezhkovski. It ends as follows:


ӧ اէѧ֧ ݧ֧ߧ,

ߧ֧ӧڧߧߧ ֧ݧ֧ ݧڧ,

ӧ ܧӧѧӧ, ӧ ڧ٧ާ֧ߧ,

֧ݧ֧, ֧ ާܧѧ ֧ߧ,

ݧ֧ҧ֧էڧߧԧ ۧ.

ݧ֧ ӧݧ ֧ܧҧ

ߧէާѧ ӧ֧ߧ :

ѧ٧ڧݧڧ ҧԧ ԧ֧,

ѧ ӧ֧ߧߧ ݧڧ.

, ݧ֧ߧ, ܧݧӧ ާڧ

էݧ ߧѧڧ, ڧ:

֧ҧ ݧѧӧڧ ֧ߧ ާڧ,

ѧ֧, ӧ ߧѧէ֧اէ ާڧ

ҧ֧ݧ ֧է ѧ.


The daughter of Zeus and Leda, Helen was born from a swans egg. As he implores Ada to leave her husband, Van mentions Helen of Troy:


As had been peculiar to his nature even in the days of his youth, Van was apt to relieve a passion of anger and disappointment by means of bombastic and arcane utterances which hurt like a jagged fingernail caught in satin, the lining of Hell.

'Castle True, Castle Bright!' he now cried, 'Helen of Troy, Ada of Ardis! You have betrayed the Tree and the Moth!'

'Perestagne (stop, cesse)!'

'Ardis the First, Ardis the Second, Tanned Man in a Hat, and now Mount Russet -'

'Perestagne!' repeated Ada (like a fool dealing with an epileptic).

'Oh! Qui me rendra mon Hlne -'

'Ach, perestagne!'

'- et le phalne.'

'Je t'emplie ("prie" and "supplie"), stop, Van. Tu sais que j'en vais mourir.'

'But, but, but' - (slapping every time his forehead) - 'to be on the very brink of, of, of - and then have that idiot turn Keats!'

'Bozhe moy, I must be going. Say something to me, my darling, my only one, something that might help!'

There was a narrow chasm of silence broken only by the rain drumming on the eaves.

'Stay with me, girl,' said Van, forgetting everything - pride, rage, the convention of everyday pity. (3.8)


In an omitted stanza of Eugene Onegin (Five: XXXVII: 13-14) Pushkin says that his Tanya is more endearing than Homers Helen. Onboard Admiral Tobakoff Van tells Lucette that he loves her with a brothers love and maybe still more tenderly (3.5), an obvious allusion to Onegins words to Tatiana in Pushkins EO (Four: XVI: 3-4). Just as Lucette (who is as attractive as Pushkins Tatiana) is more endearing than Ada (whom Van pairs with Helen of Troy), Adas husband is much more sympathetic than Van (kuzen who produces a remarkably fetching impression).


cart de van + sostav + ad/da = caravan + detstvo + sad


sostav C composition; structure; staff; train

ad C hell

da C yes

detstvo C childhood

sad C garden


My previous post Proustian bed & assassin pun in Ada (I was finishing it in haste) should end as follows:


One of Adas lovers is the composer Philip Rack, Lucettes teacher of music whose name hints at the Spanish Inquisition. In his essay Pushkin Merezhkovski compares Dostoevski, that demon of pity and torment, to the Grand Inquisitor (the hero of Ivan Karamazovs poem in Dostoevskis Brothers Karamazov) and mentions adskaya pytka (an infernal torture):


֧ ԧ ا ٧ѧէѧݧ ݧާקӧ ܧڧ ԧ֧, ܧڧ ڧݧߧ ݧէ ѧ٧ѧ ѧ ݧ اڧӧ ֧ ѧ ݧڧ ѧܧݧߧڧܧӧ, ӧѧߧ ѧѧާѧ٧ӧ, էݧڧӧ ӧڧէ֧ߧڧ «ҧ֧», ҧ էӧ֧ԧߧ ݧ֧էߧ֧ ܧѧ٧ߧ, ѧާ ߧקߧߧ ѧէܧ ܧ ѧߧ ܧѧ ԧ է֧ާߧ اѧݧ ާڧ֧ݧӧ, ӧ֧ݧڧܧԧ ڧߧܧӧڧ٧ڧ ֧ӧܧԧ.


Poisoned by his jealous wife, Philip Rack dies in agony in the Kalugano hospital (1.42)


Alexey Sklyarenko

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