Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000023, Wed, 26 May 1993 21:56:26 -0700

law suit & bibliography
Two items.
1. A couple of people have expressed interest in the pending Sexton/Field
law suit in London. I have no details, but can pass on what I assume is
the pertain section of the David Sexton review (Sunday Telegraph, Jan. 5,
1992) of Brian Boyd's VN biography. "The first biography, no matter what comes
after, casts a
certain shadow on the others," so Vladimir Nabokov said to his own first
biographer, Andrew Field. / It was a prescient remark -- although N. could
have hardly foreseen the extent to which Field's incompetence and
malice would darken the last years of his life and assault his reputation
after his death. / Field's first sally, NABOKOV: HIS LIFE IN PART, was
published -- after three years of resistance by Nabokov's lawyers -- in
1977, a few weeks before Nabokov's death. / At the beginning of their
falling out, Field had threatened Nabokov that he could easily wait until
Nabokov died and then publish anything he liked about him, for example, a
book entitled HE CALLED HIS MUM LOLITA. In 1986, in his second bash at a
biography, VN: THE LIFE AND ART OF VLADIMIR NABOKOV, Field went ahead and
alleged that he had done just that, amid other shabby and infantile
imputations. / With the completion of this two-part biography by Brian
Boyd, Field's publications are supersedd and a shadow lifted. It's
something to celebrate." Sexton's review goes on a describe the second
volume of Boyd's VN biography.

2. Magdalena Medaric and Irena Luksic of Zagreb have sent me a partial
copy of NOVI VIDICI, a new cultural journal (Beograd), whose first and so far
only issue (1991) devotes a hundred-odd pages to Nabokov. Presented by
David Albahari, the Nabokov section consists almost entirely of
translations of material that have previously appeared in English or
Russian. The only exception is a short essay by the well-known Croatian
writer Danilo Kis, "Nabokov ili Nostalgia". Russian contributors are:
Viktor Erofeev's "Ruski metaroman Vladimira Nabokova" and Mikhail
Epshtein's "Oprastanje s predmetima ili nabokovsko kod Nabokova." Albahari
does not give the sources of the originals, but the Erofeev may be found in
his 1990 Moscow collection V LABIRINTE PROKLIATYKH VOPROSOV. I don't
recognize the Epshtein piece off-hand. A piece by John V. Hagopian,
"Vladimir Nabokov," is, I think, from a "life and works" survey done for a
reference work some years ago. Herbert Gold's 1967 VN interview for the PARIS
REVIEW (#41) is included. The remaining pieces are all from the 1974
Ardis Press volume edited by Carl Proffer, A BOOK OF THINGS ABOUT NABOKOV:
Kevin Pilon's "Chronology of PALE FIRE," Keri Ahern's LOLITA crossword
puzzle, and my essay "Synesthesia, Polychromatism, and Nabokov."

3. I (and NABOKOV STUDIES) have acquired a new FAX number: (805) 687-1825.

D. Barton Johnson