Amid frantic, last-minute negotiations, under a spray of machine-gun fire, Vladimir Nabokov fled Russia 100 years ago this week. His family had sought refuge from the Bolsheviks in the Crimean peninsula; those forces now made a vicious descent from the north. The chaos on the pier at Sebastopol could not match the scene that met the last of the Russian imperial family, evacuated the same week: In Yalta, terrified families mobbed a quay littered with abandoned cars. Nor were the Nabokovs’ accommodations as good. The Romanovs made their escape on a British man-of-war. The Nabokovs crowded into a filthy Greek cargo ship.
Overrun by refugees, Constantinople turned them away. For several days they lurched about on a rough sea, subsisting on dog biscuits, sleeping on benches. Only the family jewelry traveled comfortably, nestled in a tin of talcum powder. On his 20th birthday, Nabokov disembarked finally in Athens. He would never again set eyes on Russia.
At the time of the evacuation he had spent 16 quiet months in the Crimea, the last speck of Russia in White hands. Already the Bolsheviks had murdered any number of harmless people; Nabokov’s jurist father, as his son would later note, was anything but harmless. In February 1917 riots had delivered a revolution. The czar abdicated, replaced by a liberal government, swept into power on a tide of popular support. Nabokov’s father, Vladimir Dmitrievich, played a prominent role in that administration. Months afterward Lenin returned from exile, disembarking at St. Petersburg’s Finland Station. Within the year, what had begun as an idealistic, progressive uprising would end — like Iran’s, like Egypt’s — in totalitarianism. With Lenin arrived another 20th-century staple: a one-party system in which hacks and henchmen replaced the competent and qualified.
The terror began immediately. On seizing power the Bolsheviks made their first victims the intellectuals who had preceded them. In a scene that sounds to have been lifted from one of his son’s future novels, Nabokov’s father managed a narrow escape; he turned out to have been high on the Bolshevik list of deputies to be shot. From Russian shores that year began one of the great exoduses that would mark the century. Nabokov was never to mourn the immense wealth from which he had been separated, only the lost, liberal chapter of Russian history, obliterated by Soviet propaganda.
The family made their way across Europe to England. Nabokov had on his side the gift of privilege: As he liked to put it, he had been raised “a perfectly normal trilingual child.” At the same time, he had fled without the documents required for university admission. He would matriculate at Cambridge thanks to a borrowed (and no doubt opaque; it was in Cyrillic) transcript. On graduation he joined his family — and the greater part of the Russian emigration — in Berlin. There Nabokov met Vera Slonim, his future wife, who had made a harrowing St. Petersburg escape of her own, compounded by the fact that she was Jewish. In 1919 even Russian liberals were infected with anti-Semitism, the Jews having been credited — in their customary role amid populist unrest — with having turned the country upside-down. Slonim had traveled through Ukraine at a time of widespread pogroms. Also in Berlin, Nabokov would lose his father, assassinated at a political meeting by a right-wing fanatic. (The meeting topic was “America and the Restoration of Russia.”)
In the 1920s Berlin absorbed a Russian community so large that the city supported not only Russian grocers but Russian pawnshops, soccer teams and orchestras. Eighty-six Russian publishers set up shop there. To some it seemed the émigrés had taken over the town. There was no need to venture beyond the expatriate community, and Nabokov did not: He never learned more than a few words of German. (Fortunately Vera had led a perfectly normal quadrilingual childhood.) Theirs seemed in any event a provisional existence. Married in 1925, the couple expected to return as soon as the Bolsheviks fell; into the early 1930s, they still faced impatiently east.
In the meantime Nabokov wrote and wrote, in a void. The writers might well be in Europe, but the readers were in Russia. It would be easy, he remarked later, to poke fun at “all those hardly palpable people who imitated in foreign cities a dead civilization.” Theirs was generally a disorienting, vaguely counterfeit existence; it bore an air of “fragile unreality.” The Germans struck the beholden newcomers as largely spectral, “as flat and transparent as figures cut out of cellophane.” No communication took place between them.
Himself a “semiphantom in a light foreign suit,” Nabokov taught English, boxing and tennis. He translated “Alice in Wonderland” into Russian. Vera found a series of secretarial jobs. Officially the couple were stateless, having been issued Nansen passports, a document that in Nabokov’s view essentially identified its holder as “a criminal on parole.” Those documents turned travel into a herculean labor; whole correspondences would be devoted to the procurement of visas. Nabokov missed his mother’s funeral, in Prague, for want of one. The authorities seemed to view the foreigners among them, he noted, “with the preposterous disapproval with which certain religious groups regard a child born out of wedlock.”
While there would be some debate later as to whether the Nabokovs constituted genteel or dire poverty, their finances were undeniably delicate, the more so after their son was born in l934. By that time history had again begun to overtake them. Vera lost her job when the Nazis dismissed the Jewish owners of her firm. With some urgency the couple began to cast about for a new address. The second city of the Russian emigration, Paris, seemed the obvious refuge. The situation grew grimmer in the fall of 1936, when the man who had murdered Nabokov’s father was named to Hitler’s Department of Émigré Affairs. His mandate, Vera explained, was to register every Russian in Berlin.
Nabokov began a full-scale campaign for the right person, lectureship or publishing contact that might propel the family from Germany. By November he pronounced their position “desperate in the extreme.” He searched everywhere for a foothold. “I am not afraid of living in the American boondocks,” he assured a Massachusetts acquaintance, both men deaf to any hint of prophesy. Nabokov might just as easily have become a great writer of the subcontinent: Was there work anywhere, he pleaded late in the year, if not in Britain or the United States, then in India or South Africa? The couple remained officially stateless, culturally orphaned. A gust might have nudged them in any direction.
“We’re slowly dying of hunger and nobody cares,” Nabokov confided to a Paris-based cousin in 1937, shortly before the appeals paid off. While France was unhappy about the influx of foreigners — it had been less welcoming to foreigners than Berlin — Nabokov managed to secure a work visa. Vera arrived to be greeted by immense swastikas flying before Albert Speer’s pavilion at the International Exposition. The family split up, camping at separate addresses so as not to overwhelm their generous hosts.
Nabokov had meanwhile acquired a literary agent in New York. She made no headway placing translations of his Russian novels. His latest, she informed him, was “dazzlingly brilliant” and hence wholly without promise for the American market. She suggested something more topical, an idea that left her client hyperventilating. “Nothing,” he would roar later, “bores me more than political novels and the literature of social unrest.” He was, he enlightened his representative, neither Sinclair Lewis nor Upton Sinclair. (Ultimately he tossed the two over the cliff together, as “Upton Lewis.”) Weeks later, in the bathroom of a Paris studio apartment, he began — “a champion figure skater switching to roller skates,” as he complained, speaking for whole cadres of displaced professionals — to write in English.
Neither an academic post nor a publisher materialized. Nabokov was again offering English lessons in September 1939 when gas masks were handed out and air raid alarms began to sound. How was it possible, he wailed, that no one understood their straits? Émigré publishing shuddered to a halt. He was nearly mobilized. In Russian that winter he wrote a novella about a 40-year-old seducer of prepubescent girls. It did nothing to speed him to the continent on which it would blossom, though another fiction did: An American refugee organization promised him a lecture series, understood to be purely “metaphysical.” The visas came through though still the family could not afford steamer fare. Two charitable organizations chipped in. “I have sound reasons to believe that I shall be able to make good in America,” Nabokov assured the American Committee for Christian Refugees.
On May 19, 1940, the day that Winston Churchill announced that the Germans had trampled the Maginot Line, as bewildered Belgians filled the Paris streets, the Nabokovs sailed to America. They arrived bedraggled, gaunt, a little suspect. (“Stranger always rhymes with danger,” Nabokov observed.) For a third time a world had come crashing down behind them as they escaped, at the 11th hour, through a trap door. A month after their departure the Germans marched into Paris. The Nabokovs had themselves crossed an invisible, if indelible, divide. Briefly evacuees, for two decades émigrés, they were now refugees.
In New York, Vera found part-time work. Nabokov tutored college students. And then he was off and running, briefed by his new friend Edmund Wilson on the secret of circumventing “that man named Ross” who persisted in editing people at The New Yorker. Nabokov set about perfecting a brand of English that had not existed before and has not been seen since. In that realm he acknowledged his plight: “My private tragedy,” he would say, had been to have had to “abandon my natural idiom, my untrammeled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English.”
In his second-rate English he wrote several of the greatest works of the 20th century, the most popular of which propelled him back to Europe, if not to the pre-revolutionary world, now extinct. He engaged in no lamentations for it, refusing to attach himself “to his wretched country by his own twisted heartstrings.” He did not care to allow the Soviets the satisfaction of thinking they had relieved him of anything of value. Nor did he see himself as part of a mass migration, one that over the next century would surge and swell, leaving more people to read bedtime stories to their children in languages they had not spoken at birth than ever before in history.
As for the stateless years, they became, in retrospect, “21 years of voluntary exile.” Tampering a little with the tenses, Nabokov explained: “I propelled myself out of Russia so vigorously, with such indignant force, that I have been rolling on and on ever since.” It was essential that the exodus feel elective, that deprivation read as renunciation. The events of 1919 left him with a light hold on the world. The man who had grown up amid lush, pre-revolutionary luxury perched always in rented houses, ultimately in a Swiss hotel. He claimed he could hear the avalanche crashing his way whenever he contemplated acquiring property. The Communists, it seemed, had relieved an immensely wealthy young man not only of his possessions, but also of the very habit of possession.
Generally politics left him indifferent. He did not issue political statements. Nor did he vote. Nabokov claimed not to be able to distinguish a Republican from a Democrat. At the same time, certain things were unforgivable. In a Wellesley classroom he could not avoid stressing that Communism and totalitarianism had stunted Russian literature for a quarter-century. (Stalin had just become an American ally. Nabokov’s contract was not renewed.) The New Yorker would reject a section of his 1957 novel, “Pnin,” deemed unacceptably anti-Soviet. Nabokov could reconcile himself to a new country and a new language, to a confiscated past and a hijacked future. But he could not abide the suggestion that “Communism was an attractive new revolutionary experiment.” Nor would he for a minute forget murderous regimes, brutes, bullies, bigots or philistines of any kind.
For someone who claimed his sole political credo was to loathe all forms of oppression — “I am against any dictatorship right or left, terrestrial or celestial, white, grey or black, pink, red or purple,” — the opinions could be surprising. They remained accented, sometimes heavily. The Nabokovs supported McCarthyism. “We are not with you on Vietnam,” Vera informed friends. The couple endorsed President Lyndon Johnson’s bombing of the north. They wrote the 1968 student demonstrations down to hooligans. (The Russian Revolution had begun in the universities.)
Fervent patriots, the Nabokovs brooked no criticism of America. The jacket art for “Pnin,” featuring Professor Pnin standing on an American flag, would be summarily rejected. The Stars and Stripes, Vera explained to the novel’s publisher, had already suffered enough abuse from protesters. “We are the senior authorities in judging the Communist utopia,” Vera reminded a close friend, herself a more open-minded senior authority. (The sentiments read differently for being written in Russian and in pre-revolutionary spelling.) The couple reasoned like the first Cuban-Americans, or the first Vietnamese-Americans, or, no doubt tomorrow, the first Venezuelan-Americans. No one knew better how fragile was the border between idealism and totalitarianism.
And then there was “Dr. Zhivago.” Published four weeks after “Lolita,” it joined Nabokov’s masterpiece at the top of the 1958 best-seller list. Nabokov wrote off Boris Pasternak’s novel as “wretched and mediocre,” or, on a better day, as “a sorry thing, clumsy, trivial, and melodramatic.” He might shrug off his losses, but 1919 still burned bright: He could not forgive Pasternak for having raced past the liberal revolution on his way to writing about the Bolshevik coup. The Nabokovs knew a Soviet plot when they saw one: They were convinced the Communists had pretended to smuggle Pasternak’s novel out of the Soviet Union. Its American publication amounted to a cunning act of currency conversion. Nabokov forbade his publisher from mentioning him and Pasternak in the same breath. It was as if the Cold War played out weekly in America’s bookstores.
Edmund Wilson wrote off Nabokov’s denunciations as sour grapes. “He wants to be the only Russian writer in existence,” he sniffed. A hint of envy would have been in order: “Zhivago” strode past “Lolita” on the best-seller list. That fall Pasternak won the Nobel Prize. No page of Nabokov could be read in Russia at the time.
But Wilson misunderstood his old friend. By some migratory magic, despite the bullies, brutes and philistines, he had reconstituted himself. Swindled by history, Nabokov had — thanks to the late-arriving roller skates, over a skin-shedding century, from a land where more people who have lost worlds have ever congregated — amply settled his account. “I am,” Nabokov declared, “an American writer, born in Russia.”
Stacy Schiff is the author, most recently, of “The Witches: Salem, 1692.”
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【重】【新】【回】【到】【市】【政】【厅】，【这】【个】【时】【候】【已】【经】【下】【半】【夜】【了】【吧】，【整】【个】【晚】【上】【都】【被】【各】【种】【各】【样】【的】【突】【发】【事】【情】【折】【磨】【着】，【到】【现】【在】【凌】【骁】【才】【轻】【舒】【口】【气】。 【终】【于】【能】【够】【放】【松】【下】【来】【了】【吧】…… 【身】【后】【的】【玛】【格】【丽】【特】【一】【直】【沉】【默】【着】【跟】【着】【凌】【骁】，【安】【静】【像】【是】【没】【有】【她】【一】【样】。【这】【让】【走】【在】【前】【面】【的】【凌】【骁】【非】【常】【不】【自】【在】，【对】【方】【不】【至】【于】【还】【因】【为】【对】【方】【的】【感】【激】【而】【赌】【气】【吧】…… 【就】【这】【样】【安】【静】【又】【不】【失】
【刘】【备】【闻】【李】【严】【此】【言】，【出】【营】【的】【脚】【步】【也】【是】【一】【顿】，【众】【人】【见】【此】，【也】【纷】【纷】【劝】【阻】【刘】【备】。【不】【知】【过】【了】【多】【长】【时】【间】，【刘】【备】【才】【回】【了】【一】【句】，“【吾】【明】【白】【了】！”【说】【完】，【刘】【备】【便】【头】【也】【不】【回】【的】【离】【开】【了】。 【待】【刘】【备】【走】【后】，【众】【人】【也】【纷】【纷】【长】【出】【一】【口】【气】，【而】【李】【严】【与】【法】【正】【二】【人】【却】【也】【只】【是】【互】【相】【朝】【对】【方】【笑】【了】【一】【下】，【然】【后】【法】【正】【便】【吩】【咐】【众】【人】【坚】【守】【岗】【位】，【静】【等】【消】【息】。 【在】【刘】【备】【召】【集】
“【是】【很】【惊】【喜】，【我】【娘】【说】【过】【的】【东】【西】【都】【让】【你】【给】【找】【来】【了】”【土】【豆】，【宋】【家】【村】【的】【气】【候】【应】【该】【能】【在】【十】【月】【前】【后】【播】【种】，【来】【年】【一】【二】【月】【收】【获】。【红】【薯】，【开】【春】【时】【种】【下】【七】【八】【月】【收】【也】【就】【是】【说】【往】【后】【春】【冬】【两】【季】【都】【不】【愁】【种】【什】【么】【了】“【可】【还】【有】【其】【他】【的】” 【幽】【幽】【看】【着】【宋】【灼】【蓁】【孟】【岩】【任】【问】：“【你】【还】【想】【要】【什】【么】【其】【它】【的】” “【嗯】~【一】【时】【也】【想】【不】【起】，【先】【看】【看】【你】【带】【回】【来】【的】【葡】【萄】【吧】”【我】【想】
【最】【终】【人】【选】，【也】【只】【是】【增】【加】【了】【盟】【重】【省】【的】【龙】【神】，【龙】【神】【现】【在】【只】【有】【四】【十】【二】【级】【内】【功】，【但】【是】【作】【为】【从】【上】【古】【时】【代】【传】【下】【来】【的】【老】【牌】【家】【族】，【盟】【重】【省】【的】【千】【年】【守】【卫】【者】，【龙】【神】【说】【他】【有】【不】【可】【推】【卸】【的】【责】【任】，【来】【参】【加】【这】【种】【战】【斗】。 【其】【实】【大】【家】【心】【里】【都】【明】【白】，【这】【场】【战】【斗】【有】【百】【分】【之】【五】【十】【的】【几】【率】【回】【不】【来】，【但】【是】，【没】【有】【人】【在】【乎】，【为】【的】【只】【是】【心】【中】【的】【一】【个】【信】【念】。 【九】【个】【人】，【确】2015十二生肖每月运势运程【一】【种】【意】【外】【的】【收】【获】【让】【李】【羽】【新】【等】【人】【异】【常】【兴】【奋】，【尤】【其】【官】【晓】【晓】【记】【录】【完】【毕】【之】【后】，【她】【的】【脸】【色】【显】【出】【一】【丝】【迷】【茫】【的】【神】【态】，【这】【都】【是】【些】【什】【么】【呀】？【是】【食】【物】【吗】？【看】【来】【她】【的】【迷】【茫】【不】【比】【李】【羽】【新】【少】。 【徐】【倩】【看】【着】【他】【俩】，【心】【中】【略】【略】【一】【酸】，【心】【想】【我】【难】【道】【没】【有】【她】【好】【看】【吗】？【但】【是】【经】【过】【这】【些】【日】【子】【的】【沉】【淀】，【她】【明】【白】【了】【一】【个】【道】【理】，【男】【人】【喜】【欢】【的】【东】【西】【不】【一】【定】【是】【他】【们】【真】【正】【追】【求】【的】
【不】【得】【不】【说】，【臧】【霸】【这】【种】【标】【准】【至】【极】【的】【反】【派】【式】【发】【言】，【成】【功】【逗】【笑】【了】【安】【然】。 【他】【本】【以】【为】【自】【己】【那】【一】【套】【台】【词】【的】【羞】【耻】【度】【已】【经】【爆】【表】【了】，【没】【想】【到】【和】【对】【面】【比】【起】【来】，【终】【究】【还】【是】【略】【逊】【一】【筹】。 【说】【笑】【归】【说】【笑】，【安】【然】【不】【得】【不】【承】【认】【自】【己】【在】【力】【量】【上】【完】【全】【无】【法】【跟】【臧】【霸】【抗】【衡】，【甚】【至】【速】【度】【也】【是】【只】【能】【勉】【强】【跟】【上】【的】【程】【度】。 【而】【且】，【他】【很】【清】【楚】，【不】【管】【是】【自】【己】【还】【是】【臧】【霸】，
【为】【首】【之】【人】【乃】【是】【一】【名】【华】【袍】【青】【年】，【面】【貌】【阴】【柔】，【眼】【睛】【狭】【长】，【浑】【身】【散】【发】【出】【体】【虚】【之】【意】，【明】【显】【是】【纵】【欲】【过】【度】【所】【致】。 【在】【青】【年】【身】【后】，【跟】【着】【三】【位】【肌】【肉】【虬】【结】【的】【壮】【汉】，【看】【模】【样】，【应】【该】【是】【他】【的】【护】【卫】。 “【我】【道】【是】【谁】【说】【话】【这】【么】【嚣】【张】，【原】【来】【是】【索】【家】【的】【二】【位】【兄】【弟】【啊】，【真】【是】【幸】【会】，【竟】【然】【又】【在】【青】【阳】【镇】【碰】【面】【了】。”【阴】【柔】【青】【年】【嗤】【笑】【道】，【眼】【中】【满】【是】【不】【怀】【好】【意】【之】【色】。
【过】【了】【许】【久】。 【叶】【轩】【一】【家】【三】【口】【分】【开】，【早】【已】【等】【待】【在】【旁】【边】【的】【一】【名】【军】【官】【走】【上】【前】，【礼】【貌】【地】【进】【行】【交】【涉】。 【不】【礼】【貌】【不】【行】【呀】，【他】【可】【不】【敢】【直】【接】【把】【人】【带】【上】【飞】【机】，【拉】【到】【军】【区】【调】【查】。 【面】【前】【的】【这】【一】【对】【中】【年】【夫】【妇】【倒】【是】【没】【什】【么】【问】【题】，【可】【那】【年】【轻】【人】【就】【恐】【怖】【了】，【没】【看】【怪】【兽】【还】【躺】【在】【地】【上】【挺】【尸】【了】【吗】？ 【活】【生】【生】**【碎】【了】【脑】【壳】【子】【啊】。 【不】【过】【军】**【是】【没】【怎】
【经】【过】【黑】【寡】【妇】【这】【群】【特】【工】【的】【套】【话】，【成】【功】【的】【获】【取】【了】【他】【们】【的】【真】【相】。 【他】【们】【是】【两】【三】【百】【年】【前】【的】【人】，【出】【生】【昆】【仑】，【手】【和】【会】【是】【他】【们】【创】【建】【的】，【虽】【说】【是】【为】【了】【统】【治】【世】【界】，【不】【过】【多】【次】【遭】【到】【阻】【碍】【之】【后】，【也】【因】【为】【时】【间】【的】【推】【移】【时】【代】【的】【进】【步】，【他】【们】【从】【统】【治】【世】【界】【变】【成】【了】【先】【找】【到】【龙】【骨】【给】【自】【己】【续】【命】【才】【是】【要】【紧】【事】【情】。 【至】【于】【统】【治】【世】【界】，【这】【事】【先】【往】【后】【面】【放】【放】，【得】【看】【有】【没】我认为念完上文，您应当会了解"2015十二生肖每月运势运程"了吧？早已在上述文章为大伙儿作出了解读，坚信诸位看了以后应该可以弄懂呀