Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0026367, Mon, 17 Aug 2015 17:10:30 -0300

Indirect SIGHTING: Vladimir's cousin,
Nicolas Nabokov reviews at The New Yorker

NICOLAS NABOKOV, by Vincent Giroud (Oxford). From 1951 to 1966, the composer
Nicolas Nabokov (a cousin of Vladimir) ran the Congress for Cultural
Freedom, an organization founded to promote Western cultural achievements as
an anti-Communist bulwark. It was funded largely by the C.I.A., and, though
Nabokov pleaded ignorance, his reputation never recovered. This extensively
researched biography seeks to recognize the importance of Nabokov's
accomplishments both at the congress and as a composer of lush, neo-Romantic
music. Giroud paints a vivid portrait of Nabokov, a dispossessed Russian
aristocrat and charming raconteur who wrote music for the Ballets Russes,
helped de-Nazify Germany, and kept company with James Joyce, Igor
Stravinsky, and Isaiah Berlin.

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