Russians Just Now Getting Angry About ‘Lolita’

Our great frozen uneasy ally has got to be experiencing a fifty-year tape delay. I know it took a full decade after the publication of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita in France and the U.S. for a Russian translation to surface, but still: you’ve had the better part of a century to get upset about this. Why trash St. Petersburg’s Nabokov Museum now?

Well, if you’re part of the “St. Petersburg Cossacks,” a morality-obsessed but myopic right wing fringe group (hey, we have some of those too!), you might derange yourself into thinking that Nabokov was defending pedophiles. Or was one himself. Or is, at this moment, a pedophile ghost. The various attacks are all rather confusing:

A report from January 10th stated that “A lone vandal broke a museum window with a bottle on Wednesday night, escaping unhindered. A note stashed in the bottle threatened the museum with ‘God’s wrath.’”

Pretty sure God punished Nabokov when he allowed Knopf to print The Original of Laura. Hiyo! I just slammed a dead guy for the quality of his unfinished, posthumously published novel, and it felt great. Got a hunch that these criminals are just book reviewers who ran out of cutting barbs. 

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