Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0024528, Wed, 28 Aug 2013 20:37:15 -0300

[QUERY] "Scenes from the Life of a Double Monster"
A friend sent me a link to an article related to the complex relationship between Vladimir Nabokov and his brother Sergey [ http://ultimosegundo.ig.com.br/brasil/2013-08-28/russo-gay-e-heroi-antinazista.html ]
I was unaware (or had forgotten it) that it was Vera who disencouraged her husband to write a novel about Siamese twins so that its first chapter was turned into a short-story, with no sequel. Paulo Ghiraldelli Jr., who wrote the Brazilian article, departs from the idea about those two brothers who are inexorably tied together, to develop in a superficial way a couple of conjectures about Vladimir's conflictual love-hate relationship with his homosexual brother..

I tried to confirm his version but, until now, I only found an interview with Paul Russell, author of "The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov" [http://www.out.com/entertainment/books/2012/01/10/interview-paul-russell-author-unreal-life-sergey-nabokov.] in which, answering the interviewer's question about his "thoughts on Vladimir Nabokov's homophobia?" he states that "Vladimir's homophobia is the elephant in the room of Nabokov scholarship. It's there, and it runs deep. But it's also more complicated than you might think. Insofar as Vladimir may have been abused by his uncle Ruka (and Ruka's fondling of Vladmir, as reported in Speak, Memory, bears uncanny resemblance to Humbert's fondling of Lolita), there were plenty of reasons for him to be skittish around homosexuals. But Nabokov's imagination finds its way to strange, surprising places. In some ways, the most revealing light Nabokov casts on his relationship with Sergey is in his short story "Scenes from the Life of a Double Monster," originally the first chapter of an aborted novel about Siamese twins. The things you fear most are the things that touch you most closely." He made no reference to any interference in the novel's progress by Vera, who'd be aware (and concerned) about any autobiographical elements concerning the two brothers that might make themselves felt along the progress of the book about Siamese twins.
Has anyone ever read about Vera's qualms and vetoes in this matter?.

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