Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0005359, Wed, 12 Jul 2000 16:57:31 -0700

VN & Aleksandar Hemon (fwd)
From: Colquhoun <TAColquhoun@compuserve.com>

Message text written by Vladimir Nabokov Forum
>a gifted stylist in his adopted second language.<

This is surely the biggest Nabokov myth. Isn't the whole point that Nabokov
was not writing in any 'second' language? He didn't SUDDENLY as myth would
have it, adopt English and become a hugely innovative and ground-breaking
stylist the minute he hit American shores. He grew up, as he himself put
it, as any other trilingual child with a large library. He in fact spoke
English before he spoke Russian or at least had a better command of English
than he had of Russian in his early childhood.

True, it must have been a big change-over suddenly to start writing to an
artistically high standard in English, and all credit is due to him for
that, but his command of English by no means came out of the blue, did it?

Alexandra Colquhoun