Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0008764, Fri, 17 Oct 2003 11:57:04 -0700

Prototype chessmasters for THE DEFENSE
EDNOTE. Silvery Light is a very clever novel-in-progress by Jeff Edmunds and available on ZEMBLA.

----- Original Message -----
From: Jeff Edmunds
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Sent: Friday, October 17, 2003 11:00 AM
Subject: Re: QUERY: Prototype chessmasters for THE DEFENSE

From Jeff Edmunds <jhe2@psulias.psu.edu>:

Quoting Kinbote, from Chapter 9 of Silvery Light,


to be taken with some salt:

"Commentators have claimed a whole list of chess masters as models for Luzhin, from the brilliant Pole Akiba Rubinstein (1882-1961) to the gifted if erratic Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Alekhin (1892-1946, who challenged Cuban Grandmaster José Raul Capablanca for his title in 1927, just two years prior to the composition of Zashchita Luzhina), to Zemblan prodigy and grandmaster Lukacs Freivalds (b. 1905), to the eventually paranoid American Paul Morphy (d. 1884), to the German champion Bardeleben who committed suicide in 1924 by leaping from a window just like our poor Alexandr Ivanovich."

At 10:43 AM 10/17/2003 -0700, you wrote:

EDNOTE. There is a substantial literature on THE DEFENSE some of which suggests protoptypes including Tartakover & Kieseritsky. VN denied Akiba Rubenstein as a model. Check the Nabokov biobliography at http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/.

----- Original Message -----
From: Bába Ildikó
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Sent: Friday, October 17, 2003 8:52 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: The original of Dorotea

I am Ildiko Baba from Hungary. I'm writing my dissertation about The Defence. My question is: did VN know anyone, who could be the model, the sample of Luzhin's figure? Did he know someone with this kind of behavior? Maybe Mr Dmitri Nabokov knows something about this ....
Thank you for your help!
Ildiko Baba