I write to express my heartfelt gratitude to the three organizers of the Hidden Nabokov Conference that began this past Wednesday with a sparkling, brilliant plenary talk by Priscilla Meyer and ended with an achingly beautiful plenary talk by artist Shelley Jackson. Though the conference continues online on Wednesday, June 29, an expression of gratitude feels appropriate at this juncture.
So…Adam, Beth, and Steve: please accept these thanks on behalf of us all who benefited from the (literally!) countless hours you dedicated to organizing this radiantly beautiful conference. You could have spent these hours in many different ways: pursuing your own research interests or writing your own poetry, spending time with your families, or reading your favourite books. Instead, you spent these hours sending messages, reading proposals, dealing with mountains of email, booking rooms, postponing everything (twice), doing everything you had done already twice more, and then worrying about meals, flights, illnesses, permissions to come to campus, special requests, coat hangers, bug repellant, letter-boxing installations, streaming glitches, and so much else. Why would sane, busy people do all that? Because you are generous, selfless, and kind, and because you want to share your love of Nabokov with others who share that love.
And a VERY SPECIAL thank you to Adam: James Joyce wrote “The Dead” as a tribute to Irish hospitality. Had Joyce attended this conference, he might have been moved to write a story about Wellesleyan or Weinerian hospitality. Adam, you welcomed us into your home and fussed over every comfort and detail as lovingly as Gabriel’s musical aunts fussed over their guests at Christmas in Dublin. Please accept our deepest gratitude and the title of Honorary Nabokovian in perpetuity.
Dana (General Editor of TheNabokovian.org)
From Stephen Blackwell:
Speaking for the three of us, I want to thank Dana for these tremendously kind words. As we could not say enough times while there, it could not have been done without our extraordinary local support, especially from Katie Sango-Jackson, Neeraja Deshpande, Julia Barton-Biegelsen, and others. We're so immensely grateful to all the participants and artists who made the event magical. I (now speaking I guess just for me and Beth) second the thanks and beautiful tribute to Adam, our main host, who, it should be noted, has articles and book chapters on Nabokov already published, and a monograph on VN nearing completion--so his status among us is more than honorary, and here's to hoping it will soon grow even further!
Looking forward to seeing all the participants again on the 29th.
Warmest wishes to all,