With his artful tales of madness and depravity, Vladimir Nabokov repeatedly faced accusations of turning a blind eye to human suffering.
But what if concentration camps haunted his fiction for decades, and readers failed to notice? Using declassified intelligence files and forgotten history, Andrea Pitzer explains how along with the stories we know, Lolita is a wrenching account of global anti-Semitism, and Pale Fire is a love letter to the dead of the Gulag.
For more information on Vladimir Nabokov at 92Y:
Nabokov spoke at 92Y in April, 1964 and our Poetry Center had a Nabokov tribute in 2009 that included an audio clip of his reading. The entire tribute is available as part of our Virtual Poetry Center: www.92y.org/vpc – scroll down until you see that program. The portion with Nabokov starts at about the 1:46 mark, after the introductions.
Andrea Pitzer founded Nieman Storyboard, the narrative nonfiction site of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. She presented on Nabokov’s fiction at the 2009 MLA Conference and is the author of The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov.
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