Sunday, December 23, 2012

Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov

The famous author of Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov seldom mentioned the brother he left behind in Europe.  Paul Russell has very cleverly reconstructed this gay brother’s life from the few known facts.  It is a beautiful journey from the decline of St Petersburg in the early 20th Century as the time of the Tsars is brought to a close through to the end of Hitler’s Germany and Sergey himself. 

Sergey lives and loves an amazing life.  His father was immensely intelligent and he idolised his gay uncle who ignored him, while focussing his attentions on the elder Vladimir.  Sergey becomes friends with many famous people of the era such as Cocteau and Alice Toklas.  This is the story of an emigrant community and an overlooked brother.  It captures a changing world over a period of just a few decades. 

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