Thirty-five years ago today, Vladimir Nabokov died in Montreaux, Switzerland. The acclaimed entomologist and prose master had a habit of believing in fortuitous coincidences—he famously took pride in sharing a birthday with Shakespeare and being born a century after Pushkin. Nabokov’s interest in these concurrences was more than petty fascination; it was inseparable from his love of fondling details.
"I AM AWARE," H. R. Haldeman writes, "that I there is a cult of people in this country who collect every scrap of information about Watergate because of its many fascinating mysteries." He's more than aware: his memoir. The Ends of Power, is a seething nest of almost every conceivable scrap of Watergate conspiracy theory developed to date. The Democratic Trap Theory, the CIA Trap Theory, the Blackmail Demand Theory: you name it, H. R. Bob buys it.
The Original of Laura By Vladimir Nabokov Edited by Dmitri Nabokov (Knopf, 304 pp., $35) So this is what we’ve all been waiting for? The last, lost work of the great master, all but complete, so rumor had it, at the time of his death, sequestered for decades in a Swiss vault, “brilliant, original, and potentially totally radical,” according to his son and heir, “the most concentrated distillation of [my father’s] creativity”--and all that it amounts to, we now learn, is a handful of crumbs, a bit of lint, a few coins.
Today is a momentous day in the history of The New Republic, and in the American literary world. We are proud to announce the appearance of The Book: An Online Review. The literary pages of The New Republic have long been known as a home to high criticism and impassioned debate.
Dear Friends of Books and Writers, For many years, The New Republic has called itself “A Journal of Politics and the Arts." It regards both of those realms, both of those duties, with equal gravity and with equal joy. Two magazines in one magazine, we live doubly, the way intelligent people do. Like every other magazine and newspaper, we have spent the past decade developing a website to complement and enrich the content that appears in the print magazine. Most of that web content has focused on politics and breaking news.
Bend Sinister By Vladimir Nabokov Henry Holt and Company; $2.75. The story of the free man under the totalitarian state is still the classic tragedy of our age, and in Bend Sinister it is given striking and original treatment, at once impressive, powerful and oddly exasperating. This second novel in English by Vladimir Nabokov, an American citizen of Russian birth, a sardonic tale of an intellectual who scorned his nation's tyrant, has an eerie, nightmare quality and savage humor.