Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000218, Tue, 1 Mar 1994 20:17:37 -0800

1.Leninburg. 2.The size of a stamp. (fwd)
From: Gene Barabtarlo <GRAGB@MIZZOU1.bitnet>
To: nabokv-l@ucsbvm.bitnet
Subject: 1.Leninburg. 2.The size of a stamp.

>From the desk of the (former) President of the INS.

I have received a curious document from the "Nabokovskiy Fond", a
self-styled Nabokov task force operating out of Nabokov's St. Petersburg
house. It's an invitation to take part in the "2nd International
Conference dedicated to Nabokov's 95 years anniversary in St Petersburg
from 20 to 24 of April of 1994." The programme includes "scientific
reports on life and creative work", "the opening exhibition", and
"conversations with writers", among other things. Judging by the drastic
change of font in which my name is set after "Dear--", the invitation is
more or less general, and since I shan't go, I want to pass it along to
those who may. They will have to inform the organizers of the "topic of
report or message, or desire to come out in discussion."
The fax numbers are 812 273-4093 and 812 312 4128. Apparently, all the
expenses incurred while in situ will be paid by the Fund.
One is asked to supply one's "family name, first name[s], date
of birth, citizenship, number of passport, date and place of its distribution"
and the length of stay, in order to obtain an official invitation.
The letter is signed by "V.Stark, Secretary-in-chief". It sports an emblem
which is half an open book, half a spread butterfly, pierced by half a
chessman, half a quill, and its letterhead says that their account is in the
"Len[ingrad] branch" of a "GU Bank of St Petersburg". The inquiries should be
sent by March 15th. "During this conference we plan to set up an international
preparatory committee on Nabokov's 100th anniversary," says Mr Stark.

Which brings me to my second item. Sometime ago I had written to Marvin
Runyon, Clinton's Postmaster General, a lengthy proposal regarding a VN
commemorative stamp for 1999 (Beth Sweeney's splendid idea.) In the same
post as the Stark letter (such things do tend to come in pairs often
enough) I received this morning a reply from the "Manager of Stamp
Services", an Azeezaly Jaffer (reminds one of a character in Bulgakov's
M&M), who assures me that "the nomination of Mr Nabokov will be placed
before the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee", and that a new stamp is
usually announced six months prior to the year in which the stamp is
I gather from this that there may indeed be a stamp! If I am not mistaken,
only two Russian Americans have appeared on US stamps, Stravinski and Sikorski.
I may be wrong there (but this is what I wrote to Runyon).