Pnin By Vladimir Nabokov (Doubleday; $3.50) When some of these sketches appeared in The New Yorker, it was clear that an extraordinarily memorable figure had been created, an individual so appealing and telling and plausible that he would not easily be forgotten. And now that we have seen Pnin even more distinctly, his idiosyncracies and above all the charm and the melancholy of his life still more touchingly illuminated, we recognize in him, as in Oblmov or Gregor Samsa, the superb fictional embodiment of a particular yet universal human situation.
For five years the West has been baffled by the strange flight to Russia of Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess, two officials in the British Foreign Office. Both were in disgrace. Burgess had just been sent back from America after the British Embassy in Washington had been driven nearly mad by his drunken behavior and incompetence. Maclean, son of a puritanical Scotsman who was at one time a Minisiter in a Liberal Government, was under far graver suspicion.
Only an act of God can keep Herman Talmadge out of the United States Senate," is the way a Georgia politician sums up the situation in his state. No active opposition of consequence to Talmadge has shown up. It is safe to say that nobody of political consequence cares to dispute the right of way with "Hummon." This is startling, in view of Georgia's history of bitter factionalism—startling until one realizes that there is now but one faction, due to the domination sedulously built up by Talmadge in the decade since his father's death.