NABOKV-L post 0019908, Mon, 26 Apr 2010 12:41:10 -0700

Re: a BIRTHDAY proposal?

although I know Dmitri and Brian Boyd like to harp on VN's virtues,
awareness of a single act of loving-kindness escapes me. Waiting (and
this time hoping) to be proved wrong as usual, Carolyn Kunin

On Apr 17, 2010, at 4:24 PM, Anthony Stadlen wrote:
Into one of his American homes, did not a strange cat (or was it a
small dog?) enter, and VN kindly fed it, or approved of Vera feeding
it, and also allowed it to explore the house? (Recall his saying
approvingly that Mr Bloom speaks charmingly to his cat in the scene in
"Ulysses" that VN calls one of the greatest passages in all literature.)

Also, he was a generous tipper in the Montreux hotel, and the staff
were protective and fond of him. But no doubt Dmitri and Brian Boyd
can supply many more impressive examples.

Anthony Stadlen

Dear Anthony,

Is this a serious response to my question? Or, as seems more likely, a
joke? I mean I can think of several horrifying dictators who can come
up with better examples of kindness (especially to animals) than
these! You know who was a vegetarian, after all.

So far I have to say the Nabokovian soul isn't doing too well. But I
have received the de la Durantaye book and am hoping to find some
reasons for hope. Since I do not personally believe in an afterlife,
of course it doesn't make any difference to me. But all of you true
believers really ought to be leaping to the defense of our dear
writer's eternal soul, or whatever it is that you believe has survived
his death. His art certainly has, and I do think it will continue to
live on, but that's not what is at stake here, surely?

Carolyn Kunin

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