NABOKV-L post 0006165, Tue, 25 Sep 2001 09:56:29 -0700

Nabokov Bibliography: Dieter Zimmer _Nabokov's Berlin_ (fwd)
EDITOR's NOTE. NABOKV-L thanks Manfred Voss for this item.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 09:39:58 EDT
Subject: Bibliography: Nabokov's Berlin

The recent publication of Dieter E. Zimmer's "Nabokovs Berlin [Nabokov's
Berlin]" (Berlin: Nicolai, 2001, ISBN 3-87584-095-X, 155pp., DEM 48.70) I
think has not been mentioned on the List. (Maybe the author is just modest.)
The book more or less replaces Thomas Urban's somewhat dull "Vladimir
Nabokov - Blaue Abende in Berlin [Blue Evenings in Berlin]" (Berlin:
Propylaeen, 1999). The latter book suffers from low production values (too
few pictures, staid design) and undistinguished prose. This certainly cannot
be said of Zimmer's work: there is a wealth of illustrative material and
great care has been taken to produce a very attractive book. In his
introduction Zimmer discusses VN's relationship with Germany in general and
how proficient a German-speaker/reader he may have been. This is followed by
the German translation of "A Guide to Berlin", excerpts from other works
("Speak, Memory", "The Gift", etc.) to all of which pertinent archive
pictures and other illustrative materials have been added. [There is also a
bibliographical first: the German translation of unpublished notes by VN for
a talk on the joys of boxing (held in the Berg Collection).] This is
followed by a chapter on the Russian exile community in Berlin and Nabokov's
years there. A year by year account of VN's time in Berlin is next [some of
the material is familiar from the "Zembla" website] and a short bibliography
concludes the book. [It is sad to note that a public convenience on
Hochmeisterplatz mentioned in "The Gift" is now reported as having been torn
down last year. (Urban had a picture of it, too.)] Zimmer's book is a
splendid achievement.

Manfred Voss