Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0006071, Thu, 12 Jul 2001 13:16:29 -0700

[Fwd: Re: [Fwd: Re: Katharine White]]

Thanks, Mary, for giving me a/the benefit of a/the doubt! I, indeed,
a/the wrong article in an/the act of fast typing. :)

On a more serious note, when I was looking through their correspondence
couple of years ago, I was particularly struck by the exchange that took
place after KW retired in 1967 (at the age of 75). Until then Nabokov
pretty much answered all her letters himself but on that occasion, after
she had sent him a very emotional letter about how much he and his work
meant for her while she was with the New Yorker, and how she and Andy
not in the best of health and time was short, all she got was a very
response from Vera who just thanked her for her "charming" letter and
stated that VN was too immersed in his new novel to respond himself.
was probably quite hurt. But, then, she apparently did the same for her
own husband. In _Katharine and E.B. White: An Affectionate Memoirs_
Isabel Russell writes: "No matter how much a fan admired E. B. White and
hoped to gain an audience, no matter how variously he was sought out --
asked for on the telephone, addressed in enticing letters, invited to
social and cultural functions, rarely was it he who responded. K
intervened. She answered the phone, acknowledged letters, talked
personally to visiting VIPs and to autograph seekers. However urgent the
plea of a letter writer for a personal acknowledgment, she nearly always
wrote the reply..."

Galya Diment, Professor
Slavic Languages and Literatures
University of Washington, Box 353580
Seattle, WA 98195-3580

Phone: 206-543-7344/206-543-6848
Fax: 206-543-6009/206-522-1959

On Thu, 12 Jul 2001, D. Barton Johnson wrote:

> ------------------
> >From Mary Bellino (iambe@javanet.com):
> A slight mis-typing in Galya's note turned Katharine White into "the"
> editor of The New Yorker -- she would have been a great one, too, just
> as good as Ross or Shawn, but she had her hands full as the head fiction
> editor. Janet Flanner called her "the best women editor in the world,"
> thereby giving the rest of us blue-pencil gals something to aim at.
> Mary
> > From: "Galya Diment" <galya@u.washington.edu>
> >
> > Today is E.B. White's birthday. Like VN, he was born in 1899. In his letters
> > to White's wife, Katharine, the editor of the New Yorker
> > (many still unpublished and in the Berg Collection), Nabokov often stressed
> > how much he admired her husband's work, and she assured him, in
> > return, how much "Andy" (E.B. White) liked his. While neither she nor her
> > husband cared much for _Lolita_, they both, apparently, adored _Pnin_.