NABOKV-L post 0020043, Sat, 15 May 2010 08:19:53 -0700

our old humbug & his bugaboos
To the List,

In my pursuit of the Nabokovian soul, which began rather
unsuccessfully with my birthday challenge to the list, I have decided
to take a deeper look at VN's pet peeves. So far acquaintance with
those loathed ones has brought me nothing but pleasure and
intellectual stimulation.

Dr Freud of course is the big bugaboo, and as my interest in Judaism
has been rekindled in recent years, I have read his take on Moses and
have found it very interesting and stimulating of further thought and
reading. I intend to read some of his other writings, especially
related to general questions of culture and human nature.

Dr Schweitzer too is on the list. Haven't a clue as to what could have
caused the rift between VN and this kind and brilliant person, but
reading his biography by James Brabazon is an unmitigated pleasure.
Interesting to learn, for example, that Schweitzer and Jean-Paul
Sartre were second cousins, and that J-P S also took a highly
jaundiced view toward the whole Schweitzer family. Odd to find VN on
Sartre's side in this family dispute?

Then there's jazz - - how can anyone (except for obvious reasons, the
Soviets) loathe jazz?? Maybe if he had heard Brubeck? Was there any
music he could tolerate, by the way?

I am also finding reading Dr Zhivago, despite our former editor's
remark, stimulating. And if VN, as I read somewhere in the archives,
was really such a mandarine as to find Brodsky and Mandelshtam
(Mandelshtam!!) unworthy, then I throw up my hands in despair.

Still hoping to hear how terribly wrong I am yet again,
Carolyn Kunin

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