Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0008997, Mon, 8 Dec 2003 11:13:29 -0800

Vladimir Mylnikov's first time
EDNOTE. NABOKV-L thanks Vladimir Mylnikov for his reminiscense below.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Vladimir Mylnikov" <vmylnikov@yahoo.com>
> It was July 1977 and I was drafted to the Soviet Army
> (it was a boot camp time) but in the night I used to
> escape from the barracks and secretly come to the
> general's office (I had a key since one of my duties
> was to clean the place - that' s basically what boot
> camp was for me - just to go to the office with a
> duster and fool around there about half an hour or so.
> He had a very nice radio receiver and I used to came
> there to listen to Voice of America or BBC mainly
> because of the rock music and I guess, it was maybe
> 4/5 of July when in one of the programs on VOA they
> announced that in Switzerland, on July 2 passed away
> American-Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov.
> The name did not ring a bell for me that night but
> when I was in college (Kharkov University) and went to
> Moscow with some friends just to hang around and get
> some English books - not those published in the USSR - since
> we all knew that it was mainy propaganda stuff - we
> wanted paper back stuff, as they were called in the
> USSR 'pocket books', published in the USA or Britain.
> I bought two - Lolita and Pnin at the black market -
> that's all what whey had that day. I started with
> Lolita (having no idea what the book was about) and was
> hooked. Pnin was so funny and so stylistically fresh
> so I could not help from reading bits of it to some of
> my Russian frinds - we did enjoy the book.
> But is not it a funny combination Lolita and Pnin? -
> Muse and Master?

> Best,
> Volodia
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