Specifying motifs occurring in the texture of the entire oeuvre of Nabokov the paper aims at re-evaluating Nabokov's early poetry via the analysis of the poem Lilith. By determining the lyrical persona Pushkin identified in this case with Nabokov, one may perceive the poem as the description of the journey in the otherworld reminiscent of Dante's way through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise and accomplished by Pushkin, whose fragmentary Rusalka can be looked upon as the subtext of Nabokov's poem. Nabokov several times claims his spiritual kinship with the most famous Russian poet, regarding him as his own ancestor and views his poetical heritage as the genuine embodiment of pure poetry. Considering the background to the poem-originally the pornographically biased theme was suggested by the émigré poet Khodasevich-the reader is undoubtedly presented the problem of amor ascendens and amor descendens represented in the description of the scene of the encounter with the Rusalka, Lilith, whose depiction is penetrated with profound eroticism. Nevertheless, the author's intention rather appears to be directed towards conveying the spiritual concept of sexuality, especially if we take into account Nabokov's never-ending polemic with Freud' s theory of human civilization. The figure of the Rusalka traditionally represented in Russian folk legends and originating in the beliefs about mermaids and water nymphs is closely related to other Nabokov heroines, most typically to Lolita. Seamaids and other similar creatures frequently fascinated the imagination of the representatives of German Romanticism as well, no wonder Russian men of letters including Pushkin and Nikolay Gogol, would incorporate them in their works, unconsciously touching upon the aspect of the Eternal Feminine which plays a key role in the spiritual rebirth of the individual as well as that of humankind according to the model given by the novel entitled Heinrich von Ofterdingen written by Novalis. The imagery of the text, on the other hand, is co-referential with ancient symbols of Alchemy, thus the juxtaposition with K. G. Jung's detailed and scholarly interpretation of medieval Alchemy can be verified as a working hypothesis. Such an approach is also supported by the fact that imagery related to various secret doctrines was focused upon in the writings of the generation of the 'younger' Symbolist poets in Russia at the turn of the century. The majority of their masterpieces would appear to be of great significance to Nabokov.
Оаг1аш1 - Тhе Оаг1апс1 Сотрашоп го «шг Маhокоу. Ес1. hу «шг Е. А1ехапс1гоу, New ?огк & Еопскт: Оагктс! РиЫ18hт8 Iпс, 1995.
Ы^ - V. Шhокоу, 1хстге8 оп Кианап Епегашге. Ес1. hу ?гес18оп Вотгегз, New^ ?огк, НагсоиП ВгасеЈоуаштсh, 1981, 385 р.
МС - К. О. Јип§, Му51еhит Сошипсиогш: Јип§, Ое^аттеИе /?егке, 14/1-2. 8Ш«§аП1968.