Véra by Stacy Schiff

Thank God that’s over.

I’ve realized that I come from the school of thought that would much rather let an artist’s work speak for itself. Particularly when I admire a product, such as the exquisite Lolita, I find that looking into the way it was made rarely serves to make me appreciate it more. Such with Vladimir and, here, Véra Nabokov, who I am sure found much joy in one another but who strike me as being incredibly tedious, self-absorbed people. Stacy Schiff does her best to give an even-handed view of the couple’s life, but there’s no obfuscating the fact that the Nabokovs were incredibly tiresome people. Perhaps fun to be around if you met their meticulous standards, but such snobs otherwise. Ms Schiff has done exhaustive research here. Pity her subject isn’t worth, in my opinion, her talent.

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