I got a number of presents of linguistic interest, including foreign movies (La Meglio gioventù and Akarui mirai—thanks, Eric!) and Russian opera DVDs (Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar and Ruslan and Lyudmila, Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges, The Gamblers, and War and Peace, and Shostakovich’s The Nose—thanks, Elias!), but certainly the two most directly connected with the concerns of this blog are Тень русской ветки: Набоковская Выра [Shade of a Russian branch: Nabokov’s Vyra], by Aleksandr Alexandrovich Semochkin (apparently there’s an English edition, Nabokov’s Paradise Lost: The Family Estates in Russia, whose description applies equally well to my Russian 2002 second edition: “This album consists of photographs from the family archive of the Nabokovs, as well as pictures of the family estates near St. Petersburg where Vladimir Nabokov spent the summers of his boyhood and youth. Together with the quotations from his works, they make a fascinating background to the novels based on his early experiences: Speak, Memory, The Defense, and The Gift”)—thanks, Tatyana!—and Anthology of Old Russian Literature by Adolf Stender-Petersen, which I owe to the generosity of Songdog and his lovely wife (and of course their excellent son, who at two years eight months may not have had much intellectual input into the choice of gift but whose affection is clearly attached to it); the Life of Archpriest Avvakum alone (excerpts here, in three languages) should give me hours of pleasure. And I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the LH readers who sent cards and other holiday communications, books, and (in one case) actual money—your words of encouragement and tokens of esteem mean more to me than I can say. If it weren’t for the enthusiasm and responsiveness of my readership, I’d have given up the blog long ago.


  1. I’m curious to know whether you liked La meglio gioventù.
    Best wishes for 2007.

  2. Haven’t watched it yet, but I’ll try to remember to report back.

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