NABOKV-L post 0005791, Sat, 3 Mar 2001 08:29:26 -0800

VN and Japan (fwd)
From: Yuri Leving <>

To continue China theme discussed here I would draw the colleagues’ attention to
the eastern theme in Nabokov’s oeuvre in general. Nabokov had an ambivalent
attitude towards Japanese art and history, mixed with the pain of the loss in
the Russian-Japanese war, common to his generation (see, passim: Mary; Speak,
Memory; The Real Life of SK).

A note-worthy fact: the pioneer expedition to the Japanese isles, organised by
Piter the Great in 1719, was headed by two navigators with absolutely Nabokovian
names – Fyodor Luzhin (sic!) and Ivan Evreinov (probably, Nabokov’s own distant
relative, since Anastasia Nabokov was married to brigadier-general Pyotr
Evreinov (1722-1787). Nabokov could learn this from the popular book «Japan and
Russia» (1918) by Novakovsky.

One can see as well the growing interest to Nabokov in today's Japan.
I have written more about Japanese motifs in the master's works in my article
«Vladimir Nabokov’s Japan», which will soon be published in the journal KRUG
(kindly translated into Japanese by Professor Yuichi Isahaya) with the abstract
in Russian.