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Nabokov’s love letters to his wife to be published

Published time: November 17, 2010 18:19
Edited time: November 17, 2010 22:32

Russians will soon get a glimpse inside the intimate life of one of the country's greatest writers.

On Saturday, Snob magazine is printing a selection of Vladimir Nabokov's previously unpublished letters to his wife, Vera Slonim.

Read more about Vladimir Nabokov on Russiapedia

The full collection of some 300 hundred love notes, spanning their entire 52-year marriage, will be released next year in the US in a book called "Letters to Vera."

“Vladimir Nabokov and his wife were a very happy couple: they always lived in love and peace,” Sergey Nikolaevich, deputy editor-in-chief of Snob magazine, told RT. “Although the spouses never left each other for a long time, there are some 300 letters – all full of love, tenderness and passion.”

Nikolaevich explained that the letters are very different: some of them are about money and accommodations – the problems Nabokov quite often faced, whereas some contain very sharp portraits of writers and other people from Nabokov’s literary circles in Paris and Berlin.

“In Nabokov’s letters, you find many motives and details that later ended up in his novels. It is the great base for understanding the writer’s artistic world. No wonder Nabokov is said to have dedicated all his major novels to Vera,” Nikolaevich told RT.

Critics, however, say that the most important thing about Nabokov’s letters is their frankness.

“Nabokov was a man of masques. He always tried to keep away from people and was even considered snobbish by some. But in these letters, he is absolutely different,” Nikolaevich said.

It is a happy coincidence that the letters survived at all.

“Vera burned her own letters, but at the last moment she decided to keep the letters from her husband. After her death, their son Dmitry decided to publish these letters,” Nikolaevich told RT.