Александр Poison Нечай
04 марта 2021

Опубликовано стихотворение Владимира Набокова о Супермене. Впервые!

В стихотворении The Man of To-morrow’s Lament Владимир Набоков описывает супергероя мужчиной, который оплакивает невозможность завести детей с Лойс Лейн, пишет The Guardian.

Изображение — Екатерина Юськович специально для «Маяка».

Изображение — Екатерина Юськович специально для «Маяка».

The Man of To-morrow’s Lament впервые опубликовано в британском литературном журнале The Times Literary Supplement

По словам исследователя литературы русской эмиграции Андрея Бабикова, источником вдохновения послужила обложка 16-го выпуска комикса, на которой Кларк Кент и Лоис Лейн в городском парке проходят мимо статуи Супермена. Даже комментарий Лоис в конце стихотворения «О, Кларк, разве он не восхитительный!?!» взят с титульной страницы, включая знаки препинания.

Набоков отправил стихотворение редактору поэзии The New Yorker Чарльзу Пирсу в июне 1942 года. Тот отказал в публикации, посчитав, что читатели не поймут произведение.

Фото — The Boston Globe

Фото — The Boston Globe

Публикуем произведение в оригинале:

The Man of To-morrow’s Lament


I have to wear these glasses – otherwise,

when I caress her with my super-eyes,

her lungs and liver are too plainly seen

throbbing, like deep-sea creatures, in between

dim bones. Oh, I am sick of loitering here,

a banished trunk (like my namesake in “Lear”),

but when I switch to tights, still less I prize

my splendid torso, my tremendous thighs,

the dark-blue forelock on my narrow brow,

the heavy jaw; for I shall tell you now

my fatal limitation … not the pact

between the worlds of Fantasy and Fact

which makes me shun such an attractive spot

as Berchtesgaden, say; and also not

that little business of my draft; but worse:

a tragic misadjustment and a curse.


I’m young and bursting with prodigious sap,

and I’m in love like any healthy chap –

and I must throttle my dynamic heart

for marriage would be murder on my part,

an earthquake, wrecking on the night of nights

a woman’s life, some palmtrees, all the lights,

the big hotel, a smaller one next door

and half a dozen army trucks – or more.


But even if that blast of love should spare

her fragile frame – what children would she bear?

What monstrous babe, knocking the surgeon down,

would waddle out into the awestruck town?

When two years old he’d break the strongest chairs,

fall through the floor and terrorize the stairs;

at four, he’d dive into a well; at five,

explore a roaring furnace – and survive;

at eight, he’d ruin the longest railway line

by playing trains with real ones; and at nine,

release all my old enemies from jail,

and then I’d try to break his head – and fail.


So this is why, no matter where I fly,

red-cloaked, blue-hosed, across the yellow sky,

I feel no thrill in chasing thugs and thieves –

and gloomily broad-shouldered Kent retrieves

his coat and trousers from the garbage can

and tucks away the cloak of Superman;

and when she sighs – somewhere in Central Park

where my immense bronze statue looms – “Oh, Clark …

Isn’t he wonderful!?!”, I stare ahead

and long to be a normal guy instead.