May 22, 2010
Adam Mickiewicz: The Life of a Romantic By Roman Koropeckyj (Cornell University Press, 549 pp., $45) It was Poland’s peculiar luck to receive its literary matrix, its cultural subtext, the source of its national mythology, from the hands of a provincial genius, a Romantic poet and mystic, in the first half of the nineteenth century. Imagine the creative possibilities, and the inevitable perils, of such a provenance.
September 25, 1944
Nikolai Gogol By Vladimir Nabokov Norfolk, Conn: New Directions. 172 pages. $1.50. One fairly accurate cardiogram of just how violently the Anglo-American heart palpitates over one of Russia's supreme geniuses is furnished by the Britannica (fourteenth edition), GOGOL, NIKOLAI VASSILIEVICH, rates one column and a grudging third, a bibliography of four lines listing as many items (only one in English), and not even a cut of the man. GOLF, however, earns 18 columns (glossary, 3 columns; bibliography, one-third column; 10 line cuts and one plate of 9 halftones).