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From the Editor: In Bend Sinister, Nabokov's Adam Krug analogically designates Shakespeare's language as the means by which God makes the created world match and extend the human mind's ambit: Nature had once produced an Englishman whose domed head had been a hive of words; a man who had only to breathe on any particle of his stupendous vocabulary to have that particle live and expand and throw out tremulous tentacles until it became a complex image with a pulsing brain and correlated limbs. Nabokov had spoken in similar terms of Gogol's and Sinn's ability to have their "weirdly misleading sentences" generate glimpses into "contiguous" worlds through the "monstrously" long arms of loving or at least attentive consciousness. The centenary of Nabokov's birth has occasioned celebrations in Ithaca, Middletown (Connecticut), Cambridge, St. Petersburg, Paris, New York City, Freiburg, Tallinn, and even Belgrade (while air raid sirens blared overhead). What such celebrations have revealed is that (concerns expressed by Andrew Sarris and Katharine McKinnon notwithstanding) love of worldgenerating words is the only major sin of which Nabokov and his readers can be accused fairly. How much recourse to the external world Nabokov requires to commute contiguous imaginary worlds into the minds of his readers is a question which continues to generate some of the best examples of Nabokov scholarship. What such scholarship teaches us over and over is that the answer to the question "How (and how far) the material world penetrates into Nabokov's imaginary ones?" is not yet readily available. There is no denying, however, that his worlds, the worlds of Lolita, Pnin, and Kinbote, have entered our own and will simply not go away. If the cultural worth of a writer is judged by the number of his fictional characters we remember long after we have forgotten most of the people who sat next to us in high school classes, then Nabokov is indeed a major writer. The three-volume, nine-work Library of America Nabokov has merely made that majority official. Though a century may not be a sufficiently long period on the basis of which to forecast the future longevity of a writer, even if we set aside comparisons with the unfortunate Fulmerford and judge only by the number of Nabokov's books in print, the over seventy languages into which his works have been translated, the number of participants in NABOKV-L, and the number of submissions to Nabokov Studies, current interest in Nabokov's writing is at an all-time high. With that good news registered, let me use this opportunity to remind the current and future readers of Nabokov Studies that the five volumes produced ii Nabokov Studies so far were the product of a very small group of volunteers whose main goal has been to further the study and understanding of the works of Vladimir Nabokov and whose main reward consists of having the privilege of being among the first to read innovative and original scholarship. While that is indeed a wonderful privilege, the editors, like the members of the editorial board, have other and primary obligations which often delay the completion of the editorial cycle. To share the pleasurable burden of our ever-increasing workload, we are adding the considerable expertise of two new members to the Editorial Board, Peter Kartsev (Moscow) and Michael Wood (Princeton). The editors are also delighted to announce that they have been joined by Mary Bellino, a writer and editor who lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, and whose timely contribution to the production of this volume is evident everywhere. In honor of the centenary, the editors chose to produce this fat but not too frolicsome volume by waiving some editorial privileges so as to accommodate the many excellent articles. In practice that meant not quibbling over the page length and delaying the reviews of books received in 1999 while publicizing the presence of these unreviewed books over NABOKV-L and other Nabokov Internet outlets. Consequently we are running only the review of Magistr igry vivian van bok in this issue. We did, however, continue the journal's tradition of publishing widely divergent views, making room for differing and sometimes almost incompatible...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9965
Print ISSN
1080-1219
Pages
pp. i-iv
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-13
Open Access
No
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