NABOKV-L post 0003306, Sat, 15 Aug 1998 10:56:06 -0700

EDITOR's NOTE. Alexei Medvedev is a Moscow journalist with a particular
interest in Nabokov.

From: Alexei Medvedev <>

Dear Colleagues!

Recently I read an article by Victoria Shokhina "Chernyschevski
through the eyes of Nabokov", published on the 24.07.98 in
"Nezavisimaya gazeta".
The main idea is that in 1935 Nabokov interrupted his work on the Gift
in order to give another more sympathetic version of Chernyshevski
life. So he wrote an Invitation to a Beheading.
The parallelism of lives of Cincinnatus and Chernyshevski is indeed
striking: both are school teachers, both have plump and good-looking
wives who cheat , both are imprisoned for being sort of rebels,
both try to escape two times, but their attempts turn out to be a
farce... Furthermore, Cin. and Cher. are writing in prison the books
of their lives ("Chto delat'?" and Cin's diary which turns out to be
the novel itself). And finally both undergo some kind of dubious
execution, after which u can't say are they alive or dead...
Well, now I'm getting to the more personal part of my message. The
fact is that all these observations were my long-cherished ideas,
which unfortunately I haven't published in written form, but gave
their brief summary during the radio broadcast dedicated to VN...
So I just like to check if some of you have come across similar
thoughts in books on VN? Perhaps my observations are quite common and
I just don't know about it...
Thanks in advance,

Alexei Medvedev, Moscow

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