Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0022034, Sun, 25 Sep 2011 11:23:37 -0700

Re: surrender and exile...


He means he will never surrender his memories. They are all safe in his
head, where Stalin and the rest of the superhuman crew can’t get at

There is a letter somewhere about how he wished he had immortalized
every blade of Vyra grass. He said he had the happiest childhood
imaginable. We all live via memory, but Nabokov especially.

All the best

>>> Jansy <jansy@AETERN.US> 9/24/2011 11:40 AM >>>
In one of the latest video presentations in which Vladimir Nabokov is
being interviewed he mumbles, with a lowered head: "I'll not surrender."
I found a printed interview for BBC, in 1962, (SO,Vintage, p.9/10)
where VN replies to "Would you ever go back to Russia?" saying that he
"will never go back, for the simple reason that all the Russia I need is
always with me: literature, language, and my own Russian childhood. I
will never return. I will never surrender..." VN gives us to
understand that he cannot become an exile since he carries the artist's
passport and that his native country is a state of mind. In this
context, what does it mean "I'll not surrender"?

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