NABOKV-L post 0007149, Sat, 23 Nov 2002 21:00:28 -0800

Subject
Fw: Fw: Hitchens//Herzen/VN. An authoritative Answer
Date
Body
----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Boyd (FOA ENG)" <b.boyd@auckland.ac.nz>
To: "'Vladimir Nabokov Forum'" <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
Sent: Saturday, November 23, 2002 8:32 PM
Subject: RE: Fw: Hitchens//Herzen/VN


> ---------------- Message requiring your approval (108
lines) ------------------
> CH got it from BB, who says in the intro to the Everyman Speak, Memory
that
> VN used Drugie Berega for the Russian version "to echo both a famous line
> from one of Pushkin's reminiscential poens and S drugogo berega (From the
> Other Shore), the first book that one of Russia's greatest
autobiographers,
> Alexander Herzen, had written after leaving Russia."
>
> BB
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: D. Barton Johnson [mailto:chtodel@cox.net]
> Sent: Sunday, November 24, 2002 4:26 PM
> To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU
> Subject: Fw: Fw: Hitchens//Herzen/VN
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Sergej Aksenov" <aksenov@onetel.net.uk>
> To: "Vladimir Nabokov Forum" <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
> > ----------------- Message requiring your approval (83
> lines) ------------------
> >
> > > EDNOTE. I don't know where the formidable Mr. Hitchens got his bit of
> > > Nabokoviana from. Can anyone provide the source?
> >
> >
> > The only bit that comes to my mind (generally not burdened by useful
> > factual information) is VN's caption to the photograph of his house in
> > Morskaya. Morskaya street was renamed Hertzen street after the
Revolution.
> > Noting this, VN adds that "Biloe i Dumi" ("The Past and Thoughts") was
> > "one of my father's favourite books".
> >
> > This photograph follows p.122 in my Penguin edition of "Speak, Memory".
> >
> > As to VN's attitude to Hertzen's writing, Andrew Field reports that "in
> one
> > of his _New Republic_ reviews, for example, he scoffed at Alexander
Herzen
> > when, in writing about England in the nineteenth century, he confused
the
> > words _bugger_ and _beggar_." (p.216 of "The Life and Art of VN".)
> >
> > Sergej
> >
> >
> > On Saturday, November 23, 2002, at 05:23 , D. Barton Johnson wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: Dasa Duhacek
> > > To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
> > > Sent: Friday, November 22, 2002 1:09 PM
> > > Subject: Hitchens//Herzen/VN
> > >
> > > Just for the record. Cheers, Ranko Mastilovic
> > >
> > >
> > > The Atlantic Monthly | December 2002
> > >
> > > BOOKS & CRITICS
> > > BOOKS
> > >
> > > EDNOTE. I don't know where the formidable Mr. Hitchens got his bit of
> > > Nabokoviana from. Can anyone provide the source? Stoppard, of course,
> is,
> > > like VN, a Slav who writes brilliant English prose.
> > > ---------------------------------------------
> > >
> > > A Nine-Hour Resurrection
> > >
> > > Alexander Herzen, Marx's rival and Tolstoy's
> > > nonfiction counterpart, enjoys a well-deserved return to center stage
> > > in Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia
> > >
> > > by Christopher Hitchens
> > >
> > > [...]By a smaller irony, Herzen's nemesis was someone whose character
> > > and temperament he held in some esteem. Mikhail Bakunin, the
> > > charismatic anarchist and internationalist, was a colossal figure in
> > > those days, appearing not to know the meaning of fear, let alone
> prudence.
> > > In 1862 Herzen, rather against his better judgment, allowed himself
to
> > > be persuaded that a revolution in oppressed Poland might help to
ignite
> > > a sympathetic uprising in Russia. But Bakunin's hectic and
irresponsible
> > > adventurism-marvelously captured by E. H. Carr in The Romantic Exiles-
> > > ensured that everything went off at half cock, with the Polish
> > > revolutionaries being assured of help that never came, and with their
> > > brave Russian co-thinkers vulnerable to charges of treason. A terrible
> > > Slavophile backlash ensued, with every liberal in
> > > Moscow accused, in effect, of aiding and abetting a Polish terrorist
> > > scheme. Nothing is more lethal to liberal and socialist
> > > aspirations than competing xenophobias, and among the chief victims
> > > of this calamity was The Bell, which lost almost all its circulation.
> > > Herzen's remaining years of life were poisoned by financial exigency
> > > (he finally stopped being an easy touch for any posturing
revolutionary
> > > mendicant), by malicious accusations from hard-faced radicals that he
> had
> > > sold out, and by a series of personal tragedies and sexual
humiliations
> > > that, to be appreciated, simply have to be read in full. (Vladimir
> Nabokov
> > > is said to have admired My Past and Thoughts so much that he tried
> > > retrospectively to alter its title to something less
pompous-sounding.)
> > > More annihilating than anything, one suspects, must have been
> > > Herzen's realization that from now on the initiative would come not
> > > from those who spread emancipating ideas but from the
> > > sanguinary
> > > clash of nations and classes. This has been the fate of conscientious
> > > radicals throughout history, but nobody ever recorded the emotions of
> > > disaster and disillusionment with more care and scruple and poetry
> > > than Herzen did.
> >