Anoushka Alexander-Rose (2022) ‘Plainspoken about Jew and Gentile’: Vladimir Nabokov, the legacy of Russian liberalism, and the Jewish question, Jewish Culture and History, DOI: 10.1080/1462169X.2022.2137661
Vladimir Nabokov modelled his moral and political values on those of his father, V. D. Nabokov, especially revering his defence of Russian Jewry. This paper attempts to clarify broad-brushstrokes accounts of V. D. Nabokov, demonstrating how his ambivalent approach to the ‘Jewish Question’ evolved as a result of his Russian liberalism. Using contemporary accounts and revisiting primary sources, this challenges the hagiographic legacy built by his son and critics. In turn, this allows for a more refined understanding of Vladimir Nabokov’s literary engagement with the ‘Jewish theme’, his sacred relationship with his father, and the limitations of inherited liberalism.