News: The French Vladimir Nabokov society

The web site for the Chercheurs Enchantés -- the French Vladimir Nabokov society -- is up and running! Here is their web site, and below follows the description of who they are and what their mission is:

This website was created by the members of the French Vladimir Nabokov Society which gathers scholars, artists, translators, writers, and Nabokov enthusiasts. 
Along with a presentation of the society and of its members, it includes a biography of Vladimir Nabokov, an extensive bibliography of French criticism on Vladimir Nabokov, a series of links to websites dedicated to Nabokov studies, to his works and his passions such as entomology. 
The website also announces its first international conference focusing on the various aspects of Vladimir Nabokov’s relationship with France. This conference will be held in Paris from 30th May to 1st June 2013.
The Chercheurs Enchantés join the International Vladimir Nabokov Society as well as the Nabokov Society of Japan as part of a now well established, and very exciting, group of like-minded scholars exploring all things Nabokov.

Dmitri Nabokov, 1934-2012

Photo from this obituary.
Dmitri Nabokov, Vladimir Nabokov's son, passed away today. He was a remarkable man -- funny, tough, ferociously intelligent, a race-car driver and an opera singer and a great steward of his father's work -- and will be very much missed. Below follow some of the more notable reminiscences posted on the Nabokv-L Listserv and elsewhere:

Boyd on Nabokov the Psychologist

From the 2011 Autumn issue of the American Scholar -- Boyd on Nabokov as a psychologist:
Vladimir Nabokov once dismissed as “preposterous” the French writer Alain Robbe-Grillet’s assertions that his novels eliminated psychology: “The shifts of levels, the interpenetration of successive impressions and so forth belong of course to psychology,” Nabokov said, “—psychology at its best.” Later asked, “Are you a psychological novelist?” Nabokov replied: “All novelists of any worth are psychological novelists.” 
(The rest here.)

News: Pleiade Editions of Nabokov's Complete Works

The great Maurice Couturier on the difficult translation and nontranslation decisions made for the upcoming third volume of Nabokov's collected works in France for Gallimard (via the Nabokv-L forum):

A great pity, of course. The translations were revised, sometimes in depth, but that was not enough. For volume III, I will personally revise all the translations. "Ada" raises a different problem: Nabokov worked hard on the French translation; I can hardly revise his revisions. I will write variants instead in the annotations.

I take this opportunity to mention that many books were published in France on Nabokov in the last twelve months (partly as a result of "Lolita" being on the syllabus of the national CAPES and Agrégation). I attach the bibliography of my new book, "Nabokov, ou la tentation française", which ought to come out later this year; it lists all those books.
 The rest at the Nabokv-L forum here.

NEWS: Stanford Magazine's "Did Vladimir Nabokov's Sojourn on the Farm Inspire His Famous Novel?"

Lots of interesting, substantive, historically relevant and contextually appropriate stuff in this article. Here is a snippet that is none of those things but is jaw-dropping nonetheless:

Over the chessboard, Lanz confided a dark secret that Nabokov told biographer Field: the memorably dapper professor led a double life. On weekends, he drove to the country to participate in orgies with “nymphets.” He forced his wife to dress as a child. Another prominent Nabokov scholar and biographer, Brian Boyd, also concluded that Lanz was a “nympholept” after reviewing Nabokov’s extensive correspondence in the New York Public Library.
Lanz was best known for his 1941 book, In Quest of Morals.

Boyd on Nabokov's Blues Discovery and the New York Times Article

My favorite commentary so far on the now much-e-mailed-around, much-commented-upon NY Times Nabokov Theory on Butterfly Evolution is Vindicated comes from the formidable Brian Boyd -- Nabokov biographer, editor of Nabokov's Butterflies, and most recently writer of the awesome On The Origin of Stories:
All the more kudos to Nabokov, then, for having developed a hypothesis over sixty years ago, in such a complex group, that proved fertile in driving a ground-breaking research project that uses methods (DNA sampling, computer-assisted cladistics) neither he nor anyone else could have imagined in 1945.

VN Sighting: Mark Helprin

From the Yale Daily News:

“Get another boat to put your other foot on in case the writing boat sinks,” Helprin said.
Helprin’s near-death experiences as a young man traveling through Europe were also critical to his development as a writer. When he was about 17, the New York-born Helprin was traveling in Europe. Helprin said he rode a motorcycle to Aix-en-Provence, France to impress a French girl there, even though he had never been on a motorcycle before. She rejected him, he said, and on his way back, he crashed.
“The lesson is: don’t drive a motorcycle when you’re depressed,” Helprin said.
Though badly injured, he made his way back to Marseilles, he said, and collapsed near the USS Robert A. Owens. The crew tried to treat the bloodied and feverish Helprin. “For that reason, I’ve always loved the Navy.” Nevertheless, he was still in poor physical condition. Helprin said he traveled to Switzerland to recover, where he met author Vladimir Nabokov and his wife eating breakfast on the balcony of the hotel where all three were staying.
Helprin, mispronouncing Nabokov’s name, shouted, “Nabokov! Nabokov! Isn’t that amazing, because I’m a writer too!”

SIGHTING: God Bless the German Federal Film Fund

A Nabokov movie in the works? Maybe:
Meanwhile, Christine Berg, project manager of the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), told ScreenDaily that only two projects have been funded by the “German spend” incentive programme so far this year. These are Corinna Belz’s painter portrait Gerhard Richter – Ohne Titel and Harald Bergmann’s musings on a film about Vladimir Nabokov, 37 Karteikarten Zu Nabokov.
(The rest here.)

Michael Maar interview

The BBC interviews Michael Maar in anticipation of the author's Speak, Nabokov (Maar's previous Nabokov outing, The Two Lolitas, was thorough and balanced (and introduced the concept of cryptomnesia into the mainstream), so looking forward to this thing too):
The author of a new study of Vladimir Nabokov’s fiction, Michael Maar, explains how the often tumultuous events of the writer’s life, including the death of his younger brother in a concentration camp, imprinted themselves on his work in surprising ways.
(Description & link via Verso.)