Here is the revised and amplified version of my previous post:


Ada to Van: Well, perhaps, I ought not to try to divert you after you trampled upon those circles of mine; but Im going to relent and show you the real marvel of Ardis Manor; my larvarium, its in the room next to mine (which he never saw, never how odd, come to think of it!). (1.8)


By those circles of mine Ada means the roundlets of live light in her sun-and-shade games (the most boring and stupid games anybody has ever invented, anywhere, any time, a.m. or p.m., according to Van). Ada makes a reference to Noli turbare circulos meos (do not disturb my circles), the phrase attributed to Archimedes (the Greek mathematician who was killed by a Roman soldier). In his essay on Baltrushaitis in The Silhouettes of Russian Writers Ayhenvald quotes Baltrushaitis poem Noli tangere circulos meos (1906) and says that in the poets lips the famous words of Archimedes acquire a more profound meaning:


ԧݧҧݧקߧߧ ާ ݧѧ ѧ ߧѧ֧ԧ ٧ߧѧާ֧ߧڧ ڧާ֧է - Noli tangere circulos meos! circuli, ܧԧ ٧֧ާߧ ֧ ߧѧ اڧ٧ߧ֧ߧߧ է֧ݧ: ߧѧէ ڧ է֧ڧ, ߧѧէ էݧѧ ӧ֧ڧ ٧ӧ ܧݧܧݧ, ҧ֧֧ ӧ է֧ӧߧ էߧڧ ӧܧڧ ߧѧѧէ֧ߧڧ ѧէ֧ߧڧ.


According to Ayhenvald, we have to protect our soul from all the attacks and falls (napadeniy i padeniy). When they climb the glossy-limbed shattal tree (the Tree of Knowledge that grows in Ardis Park), Van and Ada nearly fall down:


One afternoon they were climbing the glossy-limbed shattal tree at the bottom of the garden. Mlle Larivire and little Lucette, screened by a caprice of the coppice but just within earshot, were playing grace hoops. One glimpsed now and then, above or through the foliage, the skimming hoop passing from one unseen sending stick to another. The first cicada of the season kept trying out its instrument. A silver-and-sable skybab squirrel sat sampling a cone on the back of a bench.

Van, in blue gym suit, having worked his way up to a fork just under his agile playmate (who naturally was better acquainted with the trees intricate map) but not being able to see her face, betokened mute communication by taking her ankle between finger and thumb as she would have a closed butterfly. Her bare foot slipped, and the two panting youngsters tangled ignominiously among the branches, in a shower of drupes and leaves, clutching at each other, and the next moment, as they regained a semblance of balance, his expressionless face and cropped head were between her legs and a last fruit fell with a thud the dropped dot of an inverted exclamation point. She was wearing his wristwatch and a cotton frock.


Yes, of course, I remember: you kissed me here, on the inside

And you started to strangle me with those devilish knees of yours

I was seeking some sort of support.) (1.15)


Describing his first physical contact with Ada, Van says that we touch in silhouette:


After the first contact, so light, so mute, between his soft lips and her softer skin had been established high up in that dappled tree, with only that stray ardilla daintily leavesdropping nothing seemed changed in one sense, all was lost in another. Such contacts evolve their own texture; a tactile sensation is a blind spot; we touch in silhouette. (1.16)


At the end of the chapter Ada mentions Kim Beauharnais, the kitchen boy and photographer at Ardis whom Marina (Vans, Adas and Lucettes mother) wanted to take a picture of Van and Ada:


But nature is motion and growth. One afternoon he came up behind her in the music room more noiselessly than ever before because he happened to be barefooted and, turning her head, little Ada shut her eyes and pressed her lips to his in a fresh-rose kiss that entranced and baffled Van.

Now run along, she said, quick, quick, Im busy, and as he lagged like an idiot, she anointed his flushed forehead with her paintbrush in the semblance of an ancient Estotian sign of the cross. I have to finish this, she added, pointing with her violet-purple-soaked thin brush at a blend of Ophrys scolopax and Ophrys veenae, and in a minute we must dress up because Marina wants Kim to take our picture holding hands and grinning (grinning, and then turning back to her hideous flower). (ibid.)


Eight years later Van and Ada look up this photograph in Kim Beauharnais album:


A formal photograph, on a separate page: Adochka, pretty and impure in her flimsy, and Vanichka in gray-flannel suit, with slant-striped school tie, facing the kimera (chimera, camera) side by side, at attention, he with the shadow of a forced grin, she, expressionless. Both recalled the time (between the first tiny cross and a whole graveyard of kisses) and the occasion: it was ordered by Marina, who had it framed and set up in her bedroom next to a picture of her brother at twelve or fourteen clad in a bayronka (open shirt) and cupping a guinea pig in his gowpen (hollowed hands); the three looked like siblings, with the dead boy providing a vivisectional alibi. (2.7)


A guinea pig in Uncle Ivans gowpen brings to mind Cheepy, in VN's novel Kamera Obskura (1932) the guinea pig drawn by Robert Horn (a gifted but unprincipled artist). One of Horns drawings of Cheepy is accompanied by the brief Latin phrase Noli me tangere:


ߧѧѧݧ 1928 ԧէ ֧ݧڧߧ ٧ߧѧܧ اڧӧڧ ߧ ֧ާѧ, ֧ݧӧ֧ܧ ֧ߧ, ܧѧا֧, ӧ֧է֧ާ, ߧ ߧէ ߧ ҧݧ֧֧ާ, ڧݧ ҧ ܧ֧ ߧ, ާ էѧا ԧݧ է֧ݧ. էߧ էاߧڧ ߧѧڧѧ ֧ ڧݧާӧ ѧڧܧ ڧѧߧߧ ѧ֧ߧڧߧ. ڧާ ݧڧߧ ܧ֧ާ ڧҧ֧ݧ ߧ֧ ѧӧ ާ֧ѧ ߧ ݧѧܧѧѧ ֧էܧڧ ֧ ӧڧէ ֧ܧݧѧާ ӧ֧ ԧҧߧ ާѧէ. ֧ ڧѧߧߧ է֧اѧݧ, ڧاѧ ԧݧާ ӧ֧ާ ݧ֧, ҧݧ ݧ֧ӧ ڧ. ڧ -ܧ ѧ ֧էӧڧ ڧާ ڧ.

֧ ڧܧߧӧ֧ߧߧ ާ է֧ݧ ҧݧ ܧߧ ܧߧ ӧѧاߧ ݧܧ էߧ C ҧݧ ާ֧: ܧѧڧߧ ѧܧڧ ڧѧݧ, ާѧէ ܧѧݧ, ڧ, ا ֧֧ ا C ӧ! C ߧاէѧӧѧ ֧ܧݧѧާ, էѧҧ اڧӧڧ ݧѧէ֧ӧ ݧҧӧ, C ӧڧݧѧ ߧ ߧӧ ڧߧܧ ߧ c ܧާߧ ֧ߧߧާ ԧݧѧ٧ѧާ, ӧ֧ܧ ݧѧܧ ݧѧܧߧڧ֧ܧ ߧѧէڧ «Noli me tangere». (Chapter I)


Dorianna Karenin (who was portrayed pressing big plushy Cheepy to her bare shoulder) is a movie actress. One of the photographs in Kims album shows Sumerechnikov, the American precursor of the Lumire brothers (1.6) whose name comes from sumerki (dusk):


A photograph of an oval painting, considerably diminished, portrayed Princess Sophia Zemski as she was at twenty, in 1775, with her two children (Marinas grandfather born in 1772, and Demons grandmother, born in 1773).

I dont seem to remember it, said Van, where did it hang?

In Marinas boudoir. And do you know who this bum in the frock coat is?

Looks to me like a poor print cut out of a magazine. Whos he?

Sumerechnikov! He took sumerographs of Uncle Vanya years ago.

The Twilight before the Lumires. Hey, and heres Alonso, the swimming-pool expert. I met his sweet sad daughter at a Cyprian party she felt and smelt and melted like you. The strong charm of coincidence.

Im not interested. Now comes a little boy.

Zdraste, Ivan Dementievich, said Van, greeting his fourteen-year-old self, shirtless, in shorts, aiming a conical missile at the marble fore-image of a Crimean girl doomed to offer an everlasting draught of marble water to a dying marine from her bullet-chipped jar. (2.7)


A colloquial form of zdravstvuyte (how do you do), Vans zdraste brings to mind Adas phrase zdravstvuyte, apofeoz (lo and behold: the apotheosis):


Quick, quick, quick, collecting the flat shining cards again to build again, again slowly? We were abominably depraved, werent we?

All bright kids are depraved. I see you do recollect

Not that particular occasion, but the apple tree, and when you kissed my neck, et tout le reste. And then zdravstvuyte: apofeoz, the Night of the Burning Barn! (1.18)


Describing the Night of the Burning Barn when he and Ada make love for the first time, Van mentions electricity (banned on Antiterra after the L disaster in the middle of the 19th century):


I want to ask you, she said quite distinctly, but also quite beside herself because his ramping palm had now worked its way through at the armpit, and his thumb on a nipplet made her palate tingle: ringing for the maid in Georgian novels inconceivable without the presence of elettricit

(I protest. You cannot. It is banned even in Lithuanian and Latin. Adas note.)


Jurgis Baltrushaitis (1873-1944) was a Lithuanian poet who wrote in Russian (and who was the head of Lithuanian diplomatic mission in Moscow after Lenin came to power in October of 1917).


The Antiterran L disaster seems to correspond to the mock execution of Dostoevski and the Petrashevskians that happened in our world on January 3, 1850 (NS). In his essay on Dostoevski in The Silhouettes of Russian Writers Ayhenvald calls Dostoevski Ivan the Terrible of Russian literature:


ڧ֧ݧ ާ֧ߧڧ, ӧѧ ٧ߧ ܧ ݧڧ֧ѧ, ܧѧ٧ߧڧ ߧѧ ݧ ܧѧ٧ߧ ӧ֧ԧ ݧӧ , ܧѧ ӧѧ ٧ߧ, اڧӧ ֧ݧӧ֧֧ܧڧ ѧߧѧ, ֧ ާݧڧ, ٧ӧ֧ ڧ, ڧ ڧէڧ ާ ҧ֧٧ާ ާէ֧, ާ էڧӧާ, ԧէ ݧѧ֧ ܧӧѧӧާ ݧ֧٧ѧާ קߧߧ ֧٧ѧ֧ ֧ҧ ӧڧާ ӧ֧ڧԧѧާ, ӧڧާ ܧѧاߧާ ֧ާ, ܧ ߧѧݧاڧݧ ߧ ߧ֧ԧ ݧէ ܧ ا ѧ ߧ ާ ҧڧ ӧ֧ ڧ٧ާ֧ߧߧ է.


In Pushkins drama Boris Godunov (1825) Grigoriy Otrepiev (the impostor who says that the shade of Ivan the Terrible has adopted him) flees to Lithuania. A character in Boris Godunov, Pushkin (the poets ancestor) tells Shuyski that Latinskie popy (the Catholic priests) are in agreement with the Pretender:


ݧߧ, ާק, ڧӧ֧ݧڧ, ݧӧ,
ߧѧӧ ӧ֧. ܧӧܧڧ ҧ֧ԧݧ֧
ҧӧاڧ. ѧڧߧܧڧ
ߧڧ ٧ѧէߧ. ݧ ֧ԧ ݧѧܧѧ֧
, ԧӧ, ާԧ ҧ֧ѧ.


PUSHKIN. 'Tis said that he is wise,
Affable, cunning, popular with all men.
He has bewitched the fugitives from Moscow,
The Catholic priests see eye to eye with him.
The King caresses him, and, it is said,
Has promised help.


In Pushkins drama the Pretender mentions latinskie stikhi (Latin verses) and latinskaya muza (Latin Muse):


ӧڧا ? ѧڧߧܧڧ ڧ!

ܧѧ ӧ֧ ާ֧ ݧڧ,

էڧߧ ݧѧӧ ڧ էاߧ ҧӧڧӧѧ֧.

էڧݧ ߧ֧ҧ ݧߧߧ,

ާߧ ٧ߧѧܧ ݧѧڧߧܧ ٧ ԧݧ,

ݧҧݧ ѧߧѧܧڧ ӧ֧.

ӧ֧ ֧ӧ ڧڧ.

֧, ߧ ӧ ڧ ݧѧާ֧ߧߧ ԧէ

ڧڧ ӧ: ҧݧѧԧݧӧڧ էӧڧ,

ԧ ߧ ݧѧӧڧݧ ٧ѧѧߧ!

ڧҧݧڧا, է. ާ ӧާڧߧѧߧ

ڧާ ֧ էѧ.

(ѧק ֧ާ ֧֧ߧ)

ԧէ ާߧ ӧ֧ڧ

էҧ ٧ѧӧ֧, ܧԧէ ܧߧ ֧էܧ

ѧէ֧ߧ ; ߧѧէ֧ ӧߧӧ ݧѧ

ӧ ݧѧէܧڧ ԧݧѧ, ӧ ӧէߧӧ֧ߧߧ ԧڧާ

Musa gloriam coronat, gloriaque musam.

ѧ, է٧, է ٧ѧӧ, է ӧڧէѧߧ.


P r e t e n d e r

What do I see? Verses in Latin!

Blessed is the holy unity of sword and plough,

One laurel friendly twines them round.

Under the midnight heaven I was born,

The voice of Latin Muse, however,

Is familiar to me.

I love the flowers of Parnassus

And I believe in prophecy of poets.

It's not in vain, delight boils in their flaming chests:

Blessed is the feat: they've glorified it in advance!

Come here, my friend. Accept this gift

and you'll remember me.

(Gives him a ring)

When covenant of my fate is done for me

When I put on the crown of my fathers,

I hope to hear your sweet voice and your inspired hymn again.

Musa gloriam coronat, gloriaque musam.

And so, friends, till tomorrow, goodbye.

(transl. A. Vagapov)


Parnasskie tsvety (the flowers of Parnassus) mentioned by the Pretender bring to mind Mlle Larivires penname:


Yes! Wasnt that a scream? Larivire blossoming forth, bosoming forth as a great writer! A sensational Canadian bestselling author! Her story The Necklace (La rivire de diamants) had become a classic in girls schools and her gorgeous pseudonym Guillaume de Monparnasse (the leaving out of the t made it more intime) was well-known from Quebec to Kaluga. As she put it in her exotic English: Fame struck and the roubles rolled, and the dollars poured (both currencies being used at the time in East Estotiland); but good Ida, far from abandoning Marina, with whom she had been platonically and irrevocably in love ever since she had seen her in Bilitis, accused herself of neglecting Lucette by overindulging in Literature; consequently she now gave the child, in spurts of vacational zeal, considerably more attention than poor little Ada (said Ada) had received at twelve, after her first (miserable) term at school.  (1.31)


Mlle Larivires first name seems to hint at H. C. Andersens fairy tale Little Idas Flowers (1835). In Budrys i ego synovya (1833), Pushkins version of Mickiewicz's ballad The Three Sons of Budrys, Budrys (an old Lithuanian) uses the phrase deneg s tselogo sveta (money from the whole world) and mentions rubli (the roubles):


« էԧ ѧܧ, ܧݧ ܧاѧܧ,
ا֧ ާߧԧ էѧ էԧԧ,
֧ߧ֧ ֧ݧԧ ӧ֧, ܧ ܧԧ ӧ֧;
ߧѧ ֧ܧ ѧ ާܧԧ࡭»


ߧ֧ ߧ ٧֧ާݧ ӧѧݧڧ, էԧ ާڧ,
ҧܧ ߧ ҧݧѧ.
«֧ ֧ҧ ߧѧէ֧ݧڧݧ? ѧ? ! ߧ ҧݧ ݧ?»
«֧, ֧ ާ; ݧܧ ާݧѧէѧ».


In the same poem yantar (amber) and burka (felt cloak) are mentioned. Yantar brings to mind an unmentionable lammer (1.3) banned on Antiterra after the L disaster and the Antiamberians of Ladore County:


What was that? exclaimed Marina, whom certicle storms terrified even more than they did the Antiamberians of Ladore County.

Sheet lightning, suggested Van.

If you ask me, said Demon, turning on his chair to consider the billowing drapery, Id guess it was a photographers flash. After all, we have here a famous actress and a sensational acrobat.

Ada ran to the window. From under the anxious magnolias a white-faced boy flanked by two gaping handmaids stood aiming a camera at the harmless, gay family group. But it was only a nocturnal mirage, not unusual in July. Nobody was taking pictures except Perun, the unmentionable god of thunder. (1.38)


In Pushkins Pesn o veshchem Olege (The Song about Wise Oleg, 1822) the old sorcerer who predicts to Oleg that he will die because of his horse obeys to Perun alone:


קާߧԧ ݧ֧ ߧѧӧ֧ ֧ާ
էק ӧէߧӧ֧ߧߧ ܧէ֧ߧڧ,
ܧߧ ֧ߧ ѧڧ էߧާ,
ѧӧ֧ ԧէ֧ԧ ӧ֧ߧڧ,
ާݧҧѧ ԧѧէѧߧ ӧ֧էڧ ӧ֧ ӧ֧.
ާէާ ѧ է֧ѧ ݧ֧.


Before the family dinner in Ardis the Second (1.38) Demon (Vans and Adas father) reads Vans palm and predicts his own death in an airplane disaster.


In his essay on Pushkin in The Silhouettes of Russian Writers Ayhenvald pairs Ivan the Terrible with Mickiewicz:


ѧ ܧڧ, ߧ ٧ݧѧާߧ اڧ٧ߧ, ӧ٧էѧק ֧ ٧ ҧݧѧԧ. ݧܧ ѧէѧ ҧߧ է ٧ߧԧ, ߧ ݧܧ ٧ݧҧݧ֧ߧߧ է ڧܧ֧ӧڧ, ߧ ܧѧاէ ֧ݧӧ֧֧ܧ ֧ӧ ڧ٧ӧѧ֧ ާڧ ܧ֧ߧڧ. ӧ֧ݧקߧߧ, ҧݧѧԧܧݧߧߧ, ѧާ ҧݧѧԧէѧߧ ڧ ݧէ֧, ڧӧ֧ӧ֧ اڧ٧ߧ.


Describing his performance as Mascodagama (when he dances on his hands), Van mentions a black shaggy cloak of the burka type that enveloped his silhouette inquitante:


A voluminous, black shaggy cloak of the burka type enveloped his silhouette inquitante (according to a female Sorbonne correspondent weve kept all those cuttings) from neck to knee or what appeared to be those sections of his body. (1.30)


At the picnic on Adas twelfth birthday, when Mlle Larivires reads her story La rivire de diamants and Van walks on his hands for the first time, Marina shows Van and Lucette the exact pine and the exact spot on its rugged red trunk where in old, very old days a magnetic telephone nested, communicating with Ardis Hall:


Marinas contribution was more modest, but it too had its charm. She showed Van and Lucette (the others knew all about it) the exact pine and the exact spot on its rugged red trunk where in old, very old days a magnetic telephone nested, communicating with Ardis Hall. After the banning of currents and circuits, she said (rapidly but freely, with an actresss dsinvolture pronouncing those not quite proper words while puzzled Lucette tugged at the sleeve of Van, of Vanichka, who could explain everything), her husbands grandmother, an engineer of great genius, tubed the Redmount rill (running just below the glade from a hill above Ardis). She made it carry vibrational vibgyors (prismatic pulsations) through a system of platinum segments. These produced, of course, only one-way messages, and the installation and upkeep of the drums (cylinders) cost, she said, a Jews eye, so that the idea was dropped, however tempting the possibility of informing a picnicking Veen that his house was on fire. (1.13)


Vibrational vibgyors bring to mind volny i vibratsii (waves and vibrations) that, according to Ayhenvald, the world is sending to Dostoevski:


ڧ ݧѧ֧ ֧ާ ӧ ӧ ӧݧߧ ӧڧҧѧڧ, ާڧ ֧ԧ ҧߧѧا֧ߧߧ ߧ֧ӧ, ާڧ ѧ٧էѧاѧ֧ ֧ԧ. ѧ٧էѧا֧ߧڧ ݧ֧اڧ էݧ ߧ֧ԧ ֧ߧ ߧڧ٧ܧ.


Darkbloom (Notes to Ada): vibgyor: violet-indigo-blue-green-yellow-orange-red.


In Kuprin's story Chyornaya molniya ("The Black Lightning," 1913) the forestry officer mentions multiple rainbows ("the fairy tale seven-colored corridor") that he saw on the day of the terrible Messina earthquake (Dec. 28, 1908):


ݧҧܧ ٧ڧާ, է֧ߧ اѧߧԧ ާ֧ڧߧܧԧ ٧֧ާݧ֧֧ߧڧ, , ҧ ԧߧڧާ ֧ҧ ߧ ڧݧէڧߧ. ӧ ѧ է֧ - էڧߧߧѧէѧ ߧ ӧ֧֧ߧߧ ҧ֧٧ҧݧѧߧ ߧ֧ҧ ӧէ ѧӧ֧ݧ ѧէԧ. ߧ ҧڧާ ܧߧѧާ ܧѧѧݧѧ ԧڧ٧ߧ, ҧݧ ߧ֧ҧܧߧӧ֧ߧߧ ܧ ڧާ֧ݧ ڧڧߧ ԧѧէ , ӧ էӧѧէѧ - էӧѧէѧ . ߧ֧, ѧܧ ا ܧ, ڧ٧ԧڧҧѧݧѧ էԧѧ ѧէԧ, ߧ ߧ֧ܧݧܧ ݧѧҧ֧ ӧ֧, էѧݧ ֧, ֧ӧ֧ѧ, ѧ, ӧ ҧݧ֧էߧ֧ ҧݧ֧էߧ֧ - ܧѧܧ- ܧѧ٧ߧ ֧ާڧӧ֧ߧ ܧڧէ. էݧاѧݧ ާڧߧ ߧѧէѧ. ѧէԧ ѧѧݧ, ߧѧҧ֧اѧݧ ާԧߧӧ֧ߧߧ, ҧ ٧ߧѧ֧, ܧէ ӧѧݧڧ ݧߧ ߧ֧اڧ.


Ada calls the period of her first separation with Van our black rainbow:


For their correspondence in the first period of separation, Van and Ada had invented a code which they kept perfecting during the next fifteen months after Van left Ardis. The entire period of that separation was to span almost four years (our black rainbow, Ada termed it), from September, 1884 to June, 1888, with two brief interludes of intolerable bliss (in August, 1885 and June, 1886) and a couple of chance meetings (through a grille of rain). (1.26)


Adas black rainbow brings to mind Baltrushaitis poem Chyornoe solntse (The Black Sun). In his essay on Dostoevski in The Silhouettes of Russian Writers Ayhenvald compares the author of Crime and Punishment to chyornoe solntse stradaniya (the black sun of suffering):


ԧߧ֧֧ ٧ѧԧѧէܧ ӧѧק ֧֧ ߧѧާ, ܧѧ ݧڧ֧ӧ֧ߧߧѧ ҧݧ, ܧѧ קߧ ݧߧ ѧէѧߧڧ.


The black sun and Adas sun-and-shade games remind one of Zhidkoe solntse (The Liquid Sun, 1912), Kuprins story whose hero attempts to catch the sun. Among the scholars mentioned in The Liquid Sun is the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707-83):


- aڧ, , ۧݧ֧, ߧ?..

- a, - ֧a ާ֧ߧ ݧ aݧҧ֧, - ߧ, ֧ߧ֧ݧ, , aݧ, ۧԧ֧ߧ, aا ӧ֧ݧڧܧڧ aԧ - ӧ ߧ ڧaݧڧ, aaڧa ӧݧ֧ߧڧ ӧ֧a a էߧ ڧ ߧڧ ާڧӧԧ ڧa.


In geometry, the nine-point circle (that can be constructed for any given triangle) is also known as Eulers circle. In his essay on Baltrushaitis Ayhenvald mentions geometrical figures and the worlds geometry:


֧էѧ ާߧ ٧է֧ ԧ֧ާ֧ڧ֧ܧڧ ڧԧ: ֧ ѧݧѧۧڧ ާݧ , , ܧԧէ ѧߧߧڧ ڧҧݧڧاѧ֧ ܧߧ ӧڧ է, ӧڧէڧ ֧ ҧ "ܧѧ ֧קߧߧ ӧ֧", ٧է֧ ا, ԧѧߧ, "ӧ ާڧ ߧ, ߧ, ѧܧ; ٧֧ާݧ ߧ֧ҧ - ާݧ, ܧ֧ݧ֧, ܧ ӧ ڧڧݧ֧ߧ ݧڧ, ֧اߧ֧ԧ ҧާѧߧ ҧݧ ߧ֧". ٧ߧѧڧ ݧ , ݧ֧էߧ֧ ֧ ڧ֧٧ѧ ҧާѧߧ ڧէ, ӧ ֧ ӧӧ֧ߧߧ ܧѧܧ, ֧֧ ߧѧާ ӧѧק ڧߧ ާڧ, ֧ԧ ԧ֧ާ֧ڧ, ֧ԧ ֧ק ֧ާ? է ҧݧ ܧѧڧߧ, ѧ ѧݧ ݧܧ ڧާ֧ߧߧ ڧߧ, ѧ٧֧ ާڧ٧էѧߧڧ; ӧ ֧է֧ݧקߧߧ اڧӧ ӧ֧ݧڧڧߧ, ӧ ܧѧ֧ӧ֧ߧߧ ҧڧ ٧ѧާ֧ߧڧݧڧ ҧ֧ܧӧߧާ ѧݧԧ֧ҧѧڧ֧ܧڧާ ٧ߧѧܧѧާ. ݧӧ ߧ֧ާ֧ݧ ѧѧݧڧ ߧ ާקӧ ҧܧӧ; ٧ѧ - "ӧ ߧ, ߧ, ѧܧ", ӧܧݧڧէ ާا֧ ߧѧۧ ӧ էӧݧ֧ӧ֧ߧڧ.


According to Van, at the age of ten he could solve an Euler-type problem in less than twenty minutes:


The year 1880 (Aqua was still alive somehow, somewhere!) was to prove to be the most retentive and talented one in his long, too long, never too long life. He was ten. His father had lingered in the West where the many-colored mountains acted upon Van as they had on all young Russians of genius. He could solve an Euler-type problem or learn by heart Pushkins Headless Horseman poem in less than twenty minutes. (1.28)


In our world The Headless Horseman is a novel by Captain Mayne Reid. Its main character, the mustanger Maurice Gerald, is Irish. In his memoir essay Belyi koridor (The White Corridor, 1937) Khodasevich mentions Baltrushaitis and dve irlandskie pesy (two Irish plays) that he brought for discussion in the repertoire section:


էߧѧاէ ާ ֧ѧѧݧߧ է֧ݧ ڧէ֧ݧ ѧ է . ڧէ֧ էѧݧ֧ܧ ѧާ֧ߧ֧ӧ. է ݧѧ ߧ֧ ٧ѧڧܧ. ڧ֧, ٧ѧ֧էѧߧڧ ٧ѧߧݧ, ާ֧اէ ֧ ѧݧѧۧڧ ֧ էӧ ڧݧѧߧէܧڧ ֧, ܧ ߧ֧ҧէڧާ ܧ֧ߧߧ ֧ ҧէڧ ֧֧ѧߧ ֧ܧڧ.


֧ ֧ ҧڧѧݧڧ "ߧѧ". ڧק ѧݧѧۧڧ ѧܧ ܧѧ (ӧ ߧ ԧէ, ڧݧѧߧէܧڧ ֧!), ٧ ߧڧ - ݧܧ, ӧѧ ӧڧܧ, ݧܧ֧ߧ֧ۧ.


In Khodasevichs essay the white corridor is in Kremlin. In the last game of Flavita (the Russian Scrabble) that Van, Ada and Lucette played together Lucettes letters formed the word Kremlin (that does not exist in Russian):


Je ne peux rien faire, wailed Lucette, mais rien with my idiotic Buchstaben, REMNILK, LINKREM

Look, whispered Van, cest tout simple, shift those two syllables and you get a fortress in ancient Muscovy.

Oh, no, said Ada, wagging her finger at the height of her temple in a way she had. Oh, no. That pretty word does not exist in Russian. A Frenchman invented it. There is no second syllable.

Ruth for a little child? interposed Van.

Ruthless! cried Ada.

Well, said Van, you can always make a little cream, KREM or KREME or even better theres KREMLI, which means Yukon prisons. Go through her ORHIDEYA.

Through her silly orchid, said Lucette. (1.36)


Pushkin is the author of Mednyi vsadnik (The Bronze Horseman, 1833). In Pushkins poem the Bronze Horseman is Falconets equestrian monument of Peter I and the action takes place in the fall of 1824, during the disastrous St. Petersburg flood. In his poem Rossiya (Russia, 1924) Voloshin describes the execution of the last Russian tsars family and says that Peters circle is closed (petrovskiy zamknut krug):


ԧէ- ߧ ѧݧ ֧է ݧ֧

ѧܧڧ ݧէѧ ާѧէ

ѧ֧ݧڧӧѧ ѧܧ ֧ާ

ާڧ ֧ߧ ݧ֧ߧڧ:

ѧ֧ӧڧ ߧ ܧѧ ѧ, էߧ

ѧ֧ӧߧ ާ֧֧, էܧ ڧܧӧѧ,

ѧڧ ӧާڧݧѧ ֧ߧ...

ڧ اԧ ٧ѧӧѧ ֧֧.

ܧߧ֧ߧ. ֧ӧܧڧ ٧ѧާܧߧ ܧ.


Describing certain aspects of Antiterran geography, Van mentions the Arctic no longer vicious Circle:


Ved (it is, isnt it) sidesplitting to imagine that Russia, instead of being a quaint synonym of Estoty, the American province extending from the Arctic no longer vicious Circle to the United States proper, was on Terra the name of a country, transferred as if by some sleight of land across the ha-ha of a doubled ocean to the opposite hemisphere where it sprawled over all of todays Tartary, from Kurland to the Kuriles! (1.3)


Van calls Tartary an independent inferno:


Of course, Tartary, an independent inferno, which at the time spread from the Baltic and Black seas to the Pacific Ocean, was touristically unavailable, though Yalta and Altyn Tagh sounded strangely attractive... (ibid.)


In Dantes Divine Comedy the Inferno has nine circles. At the end of his essay in The Silhouettes of Russian Writers Ayhenvald calls Dostoevski zhivaya Bozhestvennaya komediya (the live Divine Comedy):


էߧ ާѧݧߧѧ ٧ѧէѧ, ާ ѧ ҧ ߧ اڧӧѧ ا֧ӧ֧ߧߧѧ ܧާ֧էڧ; ߧ֧ ا ߧ֧ ڧݧߧ֧ ѧߧ֧ - է.


According to the critic, Inferno is the most powerful and terrible part of The Divine Comedy. The last word in Ayhenvalds essay on Dostoevski is Ada (Gen. of ad, hell, inferno).


Alexey Sklyarenko

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