NABOKV-L post 0022740, Mon, 23 Apr 2012 22:57:55 -0700

"Shakespeare" or de Vere (1924)?
On Apr 23, 2012, at 2:48 PM, piano forte wrote: The birthday of
Nabokov and Shakespeare seems a good time to ask what VN could have
intended by the verse below, if not to express grave doubts about the
Bard's true identity. Does anyone on the list have any information on
this early poem, which describes Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford,
with astonishing clarity? If Nabokov believed William of Stratford
wrote the immortal plays and poems, why would Dmitri, who jealously
guarded his father's reputation, permit this verse to be
"reprinted...with his kind permission" in the Shakespeare Oxford
Society Newsletter?


Dear "piano forte" Brian,

Na und? Forgive my flippancy, but really, so what if VN preferred the
authorship of de Vere of Oxford over that of William of Stratford? He
was after all a notorious snob, inordinately proud of his aristocratic
blood - not a side of him that I find particularly attractive.
Fortunately for our favorite сноб, he did not live to discover that
his vaunted descent from Genghis Khan is now genetically determined to
make him one among approximately 16 million other males ... and by
now, probably God knows how many more (the study was published in 2003).

The opening of the poem in Dmitri's translation however is
particularly fine, and reinforces my belief that VN was a superb poet
and has yet to be properly recognized as such. So, perhaps a day late
- or nine early - I salute his memory with my own brand of jaundice-
tinged hosannahs.

Carolyn "forte piano"* Kunin

* As a retired piano tuner-technician, who specialized in the
restoration of antique keyboards of which the "forte piano" was a
favorite, I come by the rubric honestly.

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