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Nabokov with Trilling Smoking on TV

At this point, it is all coming together in a whirl. Italo Svevo's warns us away from smoking and Jean-Philippe Toussaint warns us away from television; Toussaint names Vladimir Nabokov as one of his five favorite writers, Nabokov names James Joyce as one of his five, and Joyce taught English to Svevo when their lives crossed in Trieste. So it should come as no surprise to find Vladimir Nabokov on live television interviewed beside a chain-smoking Lionel Trilling! I'm fairly certain Trilling tokes the true-blue cancer stick and not the funky weed in this scene.

Behold part one, here, and if that is not enough, then beware part two.

Oh how Nabokov reclines! You would think he'd rather be Humbert Humbert at play with an apple on the couch with Lolita. But nooooooo! He gets a prim, proper, and scholarly old Jew best known for passing at Princeton, playing the WASP game. Indeed.

And so it goes. . .

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