Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025908, Thu, 25 Dec 2014 19:16:39 -0500

Nabokov's Christmas memory
Dear List,

Please accept my wishes for a joyous and peaceful holiday season, including
a happy New Year!

Since today is Christmas, in particular, I thought I would remind you
of one of Nabokov's earliest holiday memories, which he cites in *Speak,
Memory *to illustrate his mother's sensitivity.

One Christmas, when she was ill, she had asked Nabokov and his brother
Sergey to bring their stockings to her bedroom so she could watch them
being opened. "Upon awakening, I held a furtive conference with my
brother, after which, with eager hands, each felt his deliciously crackling
stocking, stuffed with small presents." They opened the gifts, inspected
them, wrapped them up again, and then carried them to their mother's room;
"but we had so messed up the wrappings, so amateurish were our renderings
of enthusiastic surprise (I can see my brother casting his eyes upward and
exclaiming, in imitation of our new French governess, '*Ah, que c'est beau!*'),
that, after observing us for a moment, our audience burst into tears."

May the new year bring much beauty, and few if any tears, to all of you.

:) SES

Susan Elizabeth Sweeney
Co-Editor, NABOKV-L

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