I just happened last night to attend a talk by Thomas Lehr, German author of several novels including Nabokovs Katze  and 42.  I managed afterwards to have a lengthy discussion with him about Nabokov, and I have a few items that list readers might find interesting.  I should preface my report with the disclaimer that I have not read Mr. Lehr's works.

First of all, the "Cat" in the title refers to an interview included in the German collection of interviews, in which Nabokov, asked how it feels to give bits of "personal past" to various characters in his art, replied that it is like lending something (a cat?) to a neighbor and never getting it back.  I have not seen all of the German interviews: can one of our German list-members give a precise quotation and reference based on this information? (A perusal of Strong Opinions leads me to believe that it is not in that collection).  The novel, Mr. Lehr suggests, is "devoted entirely" to VN in that it employs a Nabokovian approach to the incorporation of autobiographical material into the fictional work.

Mr. Lehr also says that his most recent novel, 42, is equally inspired by Nabokov, including a setting in Montreux at the Palace Hotel; one real and one imagined statue of VN; and play with "the space-time continuum". 

Mr. Lehr has been most influenced by Ada, which is his favorite VN novel.  He finds "seriousness through humor" one of the most compelling artistic facets of VN's work.  I told him of the recent discussion springing from the list's mention of his novel a month or so ago, and he was especially appreciative of Sandy Klein's and Dmitri Nabokov's posted link to the blinking, mouse-grabbing cat, "Maukie".

Lehr's novels have not been translated into English.

Stephen Blackwell

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