Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023580, Fri, 11 Jan 2013 23:19:37 -0500

‘Lolita’ author Nabokov’s museum attacked over ‘paedophilia’ ...


Nabokov Museum in St. Petersburg attacked by vandals
Several news outlets are reporting that a group calling itself the “St. Petersburg Cossacks” may be responsible for vandalism that broke a window of the Nabokov Museum in St. Petersburg. A note inside a bottle found in the museum warned the staff of “God’s wrath.”

Some conservative Russians see Lolita as propaganda for pedophilia and object to Nabokov on moral grounds. This is the latest in a series of actions protesting cultural exhibits and places around the city seen as blasphemous or un-Christian, and may represent a first step toward using violence in these protests (see the link below).

I’ll write more about the attack in the context of other events in Russia once more information is available on what happened at the museum (which also happens to be Nabokov’s birthplace). In the meantime, here is one of the most detailed reports that has appeared so far, from the state-owned Russian news agency RIA Novosti.



‘Lolita’ author Nabokov’s museum attacked over ‘paedophilia’
by F wire Jan 11, 2013
Moscow, Jan 11 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian ultraconservatives have struck again in St. Petersburg, where a museum of famous writer Vladimir Nabokov was attacked over “paedophilia”.

A lone vandal broke a museum window with a bottle that contained a note which threatened the museum with “God’s wrath” over its alleged propaganda of Nabokov’s paedophilia, Fontanka.ru city news website reported.

The museum received a handful of anonymous letters with similar homilies over the past months, its director Tatiana Ponomaryova said. Police were looking into the incident.

St. Petersburg-born Nabokov is best known for “Lolita” (1995), a paedophile’s story, but was never accused of child abuse himself.

A separate anonymous letter reportedly mailed to Fontanka.ru identified the attacker as the leader of a group of self-styled “St. Petersburg Cossacks” who earlier mounted non-violent attacks on the city’s cultural establishments.

A one-man show based on “Lolita” was cancelled in St. Petersburg by its author last year after he received threatening letters from the anonymous Cossacks.

The city prosecutor’s office was also flooded with dozens of identical reports in December accusing an exhibit at the Hermitage museum by British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman of extremism over “blasphemous” crucified toys on display.

A prosecutor check found no evidence of extremism. The Chapmans offered “extreme apologies” to whomever felt offended, and the Hermitage’s director demanded an investigation into the complainants, to no visible result.

But the Cossacks have now decided to employ “non-Christian” virtue enforcement methods, which prompted a split, said the letter to Fontanka.ru, whose author identified himself as belonging to the moderate non-violent group.

St. Petersburg never had a native Cossack community, and other Cossack groups across the nation have denounced the actions of their alleged northern brethren.

However, other Cossacks have also attempted to act as a conservative militia, patrolling streets of Moscow against illegal migrants, peddlers and parkers, and attacking modern art exhibits in the southern Krasnodar Region, a Cossack heartland.

Non-Cossack Christian activists have also attacked in Moscow a sex museum and supporters of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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