NABOKV-L post 0014304, Thu, 7 Dec 2006 22:38:29 -0500

Re: Fw: [NABOKV-L] kinboot - Russian "vira" (A. Bouazza to Alexey)
Dear Alexey,

Hildebrand is the pseudonym of Nicolaas Beets
(1814-1903) and author of "Camera Obscura" (1839, the
4th edition of 1854 was expanded), a collection of
realistic sketches of Dutch daily life after the
manner of Dickens. Beets was in the beginning very
much influenced by the English romantics, Byron and
Scott, and translated much of their work.
I have read some of the sketches many years ago, while
still at school, and my memory has not retained much
except for the self-righteous tone of the narrator,
who always has it right. CO did not get favourable
reviews at the time. I don't think this classic is
still taught at schools, it wasn't even then, but I
had much luck with my Dutch teacher, Mr. Klaver, who
introduced us to many interesting works from various
periods, virtually from the Middle Ages until the
Of course, you can imagine that I once did wonder
whether there was any relationship between these two
homonymous books.
If you need more information, please contact me
By the way, Mr. Klaver had some Russian and once (in
1985) I showed him my Dutch translations of "In
Paradise" and "Lilith" among others and lent him my
paperback copy of POEMS & PROBLEMS. He made useful
comments about my versions and provided literal
translations of the Russian originals, which shed
interesting light on VN's Englished poems.
As the man himself said, "everything hangs together,"
if not "heather and honey" at least clover and luck!


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