NABOKV-L post 0011919, Sun, 18 Sep 2005 19:16:26 -0700

Fw: handshake
Message ----- Original Message -----
From: Dmitri Nabokov
To: 'D. Barton Johnson'
Sent: Sunday, September 18, 2005 6:53 AM
Subject: handshake

Dear Don,

My word may have surpassed my thought (in your regard, at least), in part because I am in the maws of deadines (New Yorker, Playboy, AP, Izvestia), and everything, it seems, сходится клином on this Monday. I am glad your rumination has led to a conciliatory coda for Lolita's birth month. I have never meant to question your merits or your laudable intentions. It had just begun to seem that the very pillar on which Nab-L stands -- Mr. Nab himself -- was being pecked at to excess from an evil side, and that, despite your admirable objectivity, you were lending excessive support to the pecker. When my father's honor is so unfairly and so ignominiously aggressed as it has been by some, I am guaranteed to lose my temper.

Now, as we return to "elegant" discussion, would it be too much to ask that we clean up the subject matter a bit? My parents were also my best friends. My father and I had an unsurpassable intimacy of discourse, and nobody, perhaps, knew him as well as I. If only the Jos, Julies, Pennys, and Centerwalls-and-wells had an idea of what a pure, gentle, funny, utterly normal man he was, they would melt in tears of self-disgust, instead of subjecting us to their abject hypotheses like a very rusty needle in the repetitive groove of an old porno-graph record. Have none of them read my father's farewell letter to his sweetheart Svetlana? Are they capable of imagining that a perfectly normal genius can possess an imagination? I had best stop protesting, lest my tenderness be misinterpreted and, for lack of other relatives, I, too, be sullied by the lens of suspicion. Let it be known that, when Milan's Teatro Piccolo proposed that I play both the incidental entomologist and Darkbloom-in-drag, I quickly declined.

Anyway, thanks for running the letters.



----- Original Message -----
From: D. Barton Johnson
Sent: Sunday, September 18, 2005 12:37 PM
Subject: Re: handshake

Dear Dmitri,
Of course I am willing to shake hands. I understand the pressure you are under as well as your extreme sensitivity to references to your father. I remain unpersuaded, however, that AD intended any offense to your father's memory but, of course, his remarks are open to various interpretations. I have received a lot of personal mail on both sides of the issue. I see no reason for a falling out between us simply because we disagree on our takes on AD's statements and intentions.

NABOKV-L is an open forum and all civil discourse is acceptable, although I agree much of the recent material is not what I would prefer. You and AD are more than welcome to continue your dialogue, should you wish to do so.

With best wishes, Don