-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: VDN's Birthday
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2011 08:02:15 -0400
From: Gavriel Shapiro <gs33@CORNELL.EDU>
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>

Dear All,

Today is Vladimir Dmitrievich Nabokov's 141st birthday. As a tribute to VDN's memory, I would like to share with you what Richard Pipes, the preeminent American historian of Russia, has written about VDN in his Introduction to the English translation of VDN"s The Provisional Government:

When I reflect why [V. D.] Nabokov and men of his kind seem so attractive to me, I conclude that it is because of the quiet, natural dignity with which they carried out public responsibilities. They had no personal interests in what they did, and sought to derive from it no personal publicity. They acted out of patriotic responsibility, pure and simple […] They were admirable men, the Russian liberals, combining Western individualism with the intelligentsia’s tradition of public service. Their liberal ethos was remarkably free of that element of calculation so prominent in the liberal tradition of the West. Russia owes them a great deal. Some day it will recognize this debt and perhaps will acknowledge it with a plaque long overdue at Bol´shaya Morskaya 47.

Best wishes,

Gavriel Shapiro

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