August 14, 2003 by AK

The abominable crime of bloggery

Would make a lovely subtitle, wouldn’t it? 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 Hertzen, 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, Hertzen’s autobiography, which he penned in English, opens with a delectable Gallicism: “I am born…”


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