Chasing Nabokov

here appeared in 1973 Strong Opinions, Vladimir Nabokov’s selection of 335 pages from the much larger trove of his so-called public prose—interviews, letters to editors, and articles. This left unpublished a considerable archive, much more extensive, not necessarily less interesting. Now comes the 527-page Think, Write, Speak: Uncollected Essays, Reviews, Interviews, and Letters to the Editor, edited by Brian Boyd and Anastasia Tolstoy.1 This is a generous selection that barely touches on the former selection of, as it were, obiter—or arbiter—dicta, and is paired with various contributions by the editors, preponderantly Boyd.

Now, these are not to be compared to fingernail parings of saints or laundry lists of celebrated authors. The new collection is nothing like that, given that it is selected by a Nabokov authority as the cream of a much larger crop that will, I hope, obviate the need for a third installment. This one should certainly delight both Nabokov scholars and fans, and even anyone the least bit interested in Nabokoviana of both public and private pronouncements.

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