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Vladimir Nabokov
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message 1: by Kris (last edited Jul 10, 2010 08:55PM) (new)

Kris Kipling (liehtzu) | 8 comments Q: Though born in Russia, you have lived and worked for many years in America as well as in Europe. Do you feel any strong sense of national identity?

A: I am an American writer, born in Russia and educated in England where I studied French literature, before spending fifteen years in Germany. I came to America in 1940 and decided
to become an American citizen, and make America my home. It so happened that I was immediately exposed to the very best in America, to its rich intellectual life and to its easygoing, good-natured atmosphere. I immersed myself in its great libraries and its Grand Canyon. I worked in the laboratories of its zoological museums. I acquired more friends than I ever had in Europe. My books-- old books and new ones-- found some admirable readers. I became as stout as Cortez-- mainly because I quit smoking and started to munch molasses candy instead, with the result that my weight went up from my usual 140 to a monumental and cheerful 200. In consequence, I am one-third American-- good American flesh keeping me warm and safe.

(from an Interview with Playboy)

Remarkably, almost all of the author's wonderful interviews can be found here (scroll down for English):


Although Nabokov often said he considered himself an American writer ("as American as April in Arizona"), about half of his books are translations from the Russian - amongst which The Gift is commonly considered the best. Also, most of the stories in that goldmine that is The Collected Stories are translated by Nabokov or his son, and this book may be the best place for those new to this writer, easily one of the greatest of the 20th century, to start.

message 2: by Kendra (new)

Kendra (okaynevermind) | 6 comments Interesting. People tend to refute Lolita as a candidate for THE American novel because Nabokov was born in Russia. But America is a nation of immigrants, and now I know he himself identified as an American writer, not to mention the book showcases America with not one, but two roadtrips.

I think subscribing THE book to a nation is futile and pointless, though.

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