The abominable crime of bloggery

Nabokov says, in The Gift (Dar), that Hertzen, the famous Russian revolutionary, confused “beggar” with “bugger”, mistaking the two words for one, and came to a conclusion that the English must highly respect wealth. Alexandr Ivanovich Herzen, an illegitimate son of a wealthy Russian landowner, received a first-class education for his time in Russia, which means, among other things, that he had an excellent command of French. On the contrary, English was a language he had to learn more out of necessity in his Albion exile. According to Nabokov, Herzen’s autobiography, which he penned in English, opens with a delectable Gallicism: “I am born…”

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