Friday, March 28, 2008

Vladimir Nabokov

The good people at Nabokv-L, the Vladimir Nabokov listserv, have made available a 1962 Nabokov interview from the (not yet International) Herald Tribune.

One paragraph from the interview:

Mr. Nabokov, a scion of old Russia's nobility, keeps au courant with new Russia's literature, and doesn't think much of it. Even of the young poet Evgeni Evtushenko, recently lionized on a visit to England, Nabokov says: "I've seen his work. Quite second-rate. He's a good Communist." As for Soviet fiction: "There are no good novels. Everything is either political or melodramatic, very tame and conservative in style, dealing in generalities, and with tired old characterizations that go back as far as Dickens. Even novels that supposedly represent tendencies that oppose the regime, and are smuggled out of Russia, are often smuggled with official connivance. Russian authorities today think they need a loyal opposition. People outside keep trying to find in the work of youngish Soviet writers something that would reveal a certain thawing of the political ice block. But the thaw is very slight, indeed, and always controlled by the State."
Read the entire article.

--Marshal Zeringue