NABOKV-L post 0006575, Mon, 20 May 2002 13:07:07 -0700

Re: Bush and Dostoyevsky (fwd)
From: Jennifer Donna Parsons <>

Or for that matter, regarding the "he should read Nabokov instead"
remark, what VN would make of George W. Bush and vice versa given their
views on same.

From Strong Opinions:

"The fact that since my youth - I was 19 when I left Russia - my
political creed has remained as bleak and changeless as an old gray
rock. It is classical to the point of triteness. Freedom of speech,
freedom of thought, freedom of art. The social or economic structure of
the ideal state is of little concern to me. My desires are modest.
Portraits of the head of the government should not exceed a postage
stamp in size. No torture and no executions. No music, except coming
through earphones, or played in theaters." Vladimir Nabokov

Not sure of Bush's views on music.

I am reminded that pro-American and of course pro-Israel Nabokov, when
repeatedly asked to go to Jerusalem to visit that city by I believe its
mayor, in the 70's, ultimately chose not to go - whether because he
sensed something was not perhaps totally just in that situation or
simply wished not to do anything that could be construed as a "political
statement", given his apolitical credo, it will never I guess be known.

The fact he'd fire off a telegram to Johnson in the 60's encouraging him
to "keep bombing" or whatever it was is indicative of just how deeply
scared he was by very real contact with the Soviets.

Galya Diment wrote:
> From: Anne Pier Salverda <>
> Dear list,
> Re: Bush and Dostoyevsky
> Of course, the most interesting issue is the following: what would
> Dostoyevsky make of George W. Bush, advocate of capital punishment?
> Somebody please tell George W.: "Ask not what Dostoyevsky can do for you
> --ask what you can do for Dostoyevsky."
> --Anne Pier Salverda