Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000281, Thu, 7 Jul 1994 10:10:28 -0700

VNcollation#7 (fwd)
NABOKV-L is pleased to present Suellen Stringer-Hye's seventh collation of
Nabokoviana. Editor

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 1994 16:19:10 -0500 (CDT)

This month, due to the World Cup soccer event, Nabokov's name was
mentioned several times as representative of the literary connection to soccer,
a connection that includes Albert Camus, George Orwell and Harold Pinter.
Excerpts from the works of these writers on soccer are included in _The
Faber Book of Soccer_ edited by Ian Hamilton and published by Faber and
Faber. A reviewer called the book "a good browse" but commented on the
books inconsistency by saying that "top notch writing can be found here but to
call some pieces pedestrian would be a compliment."

The _Daily Telegraph_ and the _Independent_ reviewed a night devoted on the
BBC to :

"...the dubious idea that football is an intellectually respectable
pastime. Dostoevsky, Camus and Nabokov were quoted. Sociologists
arrived in their dozens. Poetry was declaimed...Sexual overtones were
hinted at, while fear, misery and joy were wheeled out as central
emotions. It was a beautifully constructed, well researched and
completely wrongheaded event. "

A news story in the June 6 _Tass_ reports that on June 6, Russia
celebrated the 195th anniversary of Alexander Pushkin's birth. The article goes
on to say:

The name of the great Russian poet remains one of the few spiritual
shelters left for the people born in Russia. Strongly feeling that
they are inseparably connected with the native land.

A collection of poems composed by first Russian emigrants dedicated to
the great Russian poet and entitled _A Garland to Pushkin_ was
published by the Moscow publishing house "Ellias Lak", timed to
coincide with the anniversary of the poet's birth.

A tradition of "garlands" dedicated to the poet has deep roots in
Russian culture. A few collections of poems dedicated to the genius of
the Russian poetry were released last century. Similar books of poetry
used to be published in the times of the soviet era as well, with the
exception of poems composed by Russian emigrants, which were banned
then. Therefore, such books of poetry merit attention now and the
publication of a new collection of poems is a remarkable event in
Russian Culture.

The volume includes " a Romance" by Vladislav Hodasevich and "Poems to
Pushkin" by Marina Tsvetayeva, "Day in Remembrance of Peter" by Ivan
Bunin, and "Pushkin's Nurse" by Sasha Chorny, "A Mermaid" by Vladimir
Nabokov and "St. Petersburg" by Nikolai Agnivtsev.

The article closes with an announcement of a publication of the full collection
of Pushkin's works including some manuscript materials.

In a fascinating history and tribute to 60 years of Muzak the author, Brian
Simpson revels:

Six decades on, the stuff has oozed into life's every nook and
cranny...Ultimately it seems to consist of nothing but sterile
synthetic shadows: the auditory equivalent of plastic tulips,
wood-effect Formica and pine-forest toilet fresheners. Vladimir
Nabokov found it "abominably offensive". He was not alone."

In case you missed it, the June 5th New York Times posted a small quiz composed
by Judith Hooper and Dick Teresi, authors who write on the subject of
neuroscience and its relationship to consciousness; particle physics and the
search for objective reality. After wondering how books were written before
the invention of the 12 to 14 word "handle" required by publishers in order to
sell the work they composed over twenty five of these pithy phrases for the
posthumous benefit of those authors whose works were written before the present
enlightened era. Below you will find excerpts without their answers from the
quiz. Most of those selected are quite recognizable and I include them as
context for the very humorous rendition of an especially well known work. Any
stumpers, consult the NYTBR or query me directly.

1. A family copes with a dysfunctional son who has turned into a beetle.
2. A farmer struggles with livestock rustlers, questions of faith and
large painful boils.
3. A troubled multicultured marriage ends in strangulation.
4. A Dublin businessman, after a day of errands requests breakfast in
6. Plucky latchkey children overcome homelessness, malnutrition and a
7. A prolix French invalid recalls memorable pastries.
8. A poem about a daughter's failed blind date, amply footnoted.
9. A woman's ambition for her husband leads to an obssessive compulsive
10. The difficulties of an interracial friendship come to a head on a raft.

"The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion
with correctness, this surely is the ideal."--William James

Included for comparative study.