Every Book by Vladimir Nabokov Is a Blow Against Tyranny

Alexander Nazaryan warms to the idea that Vladimir Nabokov was deeply political, even though you have to look closely at his writings to see it. Nazaryan is pursuaded by his own reading of the early Nabokov play, The Tragedy of Mister Morn, and by Andrea Pitzer's biography, The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov. Nazaran writes,

history—if not politics—was never far from Nabokov’s considerations. Nabokov was, for example, an ardent enemy of anti-Semitism and a supporter of civil rights in the American South. (“Admirable work you are accomplishing,” he once telegrammed to LBJ, who had largely staked his reputation on the Civil Rights Act.) Pitzer does not really discuss Nabokov’s plays and their political content, but she capably reconstructs the young Nabokov’s mindset at the time he wrote Morn. The elder Nabokov was being hailed as “a bright paladin of freedom” in obituaries. And yet the pull of filial duty only extended so far. “He admired his father’s ideals,” Pitzer writes, “but unlike V.D. Nabokov, he stood apart from the fray.” Morn shows that he was not immune to the forces that had so dramatically acted upon his father, though his own political convictions would thrive within the rococo folds of his language. 

via www.newrepublic.com

Vera Nabokov never had her doubts: "every book by VN is a blow against tyranny," she once declared.

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