Archive for November, 2009

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Mary, p. 75: the scent of racemosa

November 29, 2009

As Mary walks away from him after departing from a train, Ganin’s last sight of her takes place in the atmosphere of “the heavy and fluffy scent of racemosa in bloom.”  This is probably the Padus racemosa, or European bird cherry, which is widely distrubted across Europe and Asia Minor.  It flowers between April and June, which frames the time of the lovers’ last meeting.

Padus racemosa

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Mary, p. 74: a piece of chocolate

November 29, 2009

Ganin notes that Mary offers him a piece of a “Blighen and Robinson’s chocolate” bar in their final moments in St. Petersburg together.  Read the rest of this entry ?

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Mary, p. 74: the shooting on Nevski Avenue

November 29, 2009

Looking over the train platform at the Warsaw Station before he meets Mary for the last time, Read the rest of this entry ?

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Mary, p. 73: “in the year of the revolution”

November 29, 2009

Ganin inauspiciously enters the Mikhailov Officer Cadet school in December, 1916; in the following summer, “in the year of the revolution,” 1917, he has his final meeting with Mary.  The February and October revolutions of that year led to deposing of Czar Nicholas II and the tsarist government, and the installation of the Bolshevik Party and a communist government, led by Vladimir Lenin.

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Mary, p. 73: a cold little worm

November 29, 2009

During their reunion in the public park near the small town in which Mary currently lives, the lovers converse, “in rapturous murmur,” about “the long time they  had not seen each other, about the resemblance of a gloworm that shone in the moss to a tiny semaphore.”  Read the rest of this entry ?

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Mary, p. 71: “an enchanting and elegant blond lady whose husband was fighting in Galicia”

November 29, 2009

Ganin is described as enjoying and then breaking up a “liasion with an elegant and enchanting blond lady whose husband was fighting in Galicia” while Mary has been taken to Moscow for several months.  Read the rest of this entry ?

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Mary, p. 69: The Queen of Spades

November 29, 2009

As their love affair fades, Mary and Ganin fatefully meet in St. Petersburg after several months’ separation “under the same arch where Liza dies in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades.”  Read the rest of this entry ?