But the freedom to think and act also allows people to flourish - as Nabokov demonstrates in his portraits of courageous characters like Pnin, the illusive Russian émigré caught up in the politics of American college life. Pnin, like his real-life countrymen, is free to embrace the West while remaining Russian - without going backward" - считает пра-правнучка Никиты Хрущёва (Russia's new inspector general).
Статья смешивает незатейливый Gogol-моголь из petty clerk Khlestakov, former petty KGB clerk Putin, Alexander Herzen's Неча на Зеркало Пенять и Nikolai Chernyshevsky's Blame & Punishment и сервирует его как анализ современного положения дел в России.
Интересно, что бы сказал Набоков про такие версии сказать, что же он хотел сказать в Лолите?
Статьи из IHT переходят со временем в платный доступ, так что я копирую её сюда:
Russia's new inspector general
By Nina L. Khrushcheva
I feel like reading Vladimir Nabokov, the 20th-century writer whose individualistic Western characters (?) have shown Russians how to live in freedom and modernity, but somehow I find myself going back to NikolaiGogol, the 19th-century writer who defined Russia's backwardness.
Gogol was a genius who depicted Russia as it is (ох-хо-хох) - a country of illusions and imagination, in which perceptions are more important than facts, where officials are corrupt and people are oppressed becausethey all live in a dream of empire.
In Gogol's Russia, which is also, sadly, Vladmir Putin's Russia,individual needs are neglected, the state's needs are overstated, and everyone is condemned to a life of cheating and stealing, consoling themselves that, while there is no justice, they are at least part of agreat country.
Russia remains the land Gogol described (ох-хо-хох). The only difference is that today Gogol's corrupt scriveners have come out on top. The petty clerk Khlestakov from "The Inspector General," the writer's best-known play,is reborn in the shape of Putin, a former petty clerk for the KGB. As with Khlestakov, this third-rate bureaucrat has, by a lucky coincidence, been catapulted to heights of unimagined prominence.
As in Gogol's times, tens of thousands of government officials rush about St. Petersburg and Moscow, pretending to be on state business, but in truth simply create an oil-fueled mirage of achievement for the Kremlin. Just like Gogol's Khlestakov, our Putin, a modern crowd pleaser inspired by the image of his own importance, has charmed everyone into believing that his country is the one of real greatness, not some KGB-controlled sham. Putin dines with the G-8 leaders as if he is the same sort of democrat they are, just as Gogol's impostor dined in his day with the ruling elite in the city of N.
Russia is a great country, especially in its ability to live up to its great literature (и балету ещё). After all, literature requires what Russia is best at - imagination and inspiration.
And it is not just Gogol's imaginings that Russians live with today.They remain obsessed by the two great questions formulated by two other19th-century writers, Alexander Herzen and Nikolai Chernyshevsky: "Whois to blame?" and "What is to be done?"
These questions are crucial to the Kremlin's "Russia is great" propaganda campaign. Who is to blame in Putin's Russia? It is the West and those who doubt Russia's greatness; those who accuse Putin of eliminating political opposition like the former chess champion Garry Kasparov's Other Russia movement; those who are displeased with Putin's expropriating the country's huge energy production and divvying it upamong his cronies; those who moan about Kremlin encroachments on press freedom.
"We take from the West what we want," goes this way of thinking,"but we won't allow their values imposed on us." In other words, "We'll take Nokia cellphones, but gay parades in the center of Moscow we will crush." When I hear this kind of talk I want to scream back: "Cellphones and street marches go hand in hand - they are both part of the freedom to think, to communicate and to act." (фигня какая; как и большинство этой статье, но эта просто уж совсем).
So, how does Putin's Russia answer the question of what is to be done? It uses news broadcasts, entertainment programs, billboards and even children's' cartoons to remind everyone that Russia is great.
Subway loudspeakers recite poems about the country's greatness. Posters call for strengthening the military.
Uniforms are in and patriotic youth organizations such as Nashi(Ours), successor to the Soviet-era Pioneers, are on the march. The economy is great, Gazprom is great, the military is great, Putin is great: The empire remains ours.
The Russians are eager to believe that they no longer live in a country defeated by the West. Instead they live in an oil and gas powered Putin-land.
In a private conversation I had recently, a Kremlin functionary compared Putin to the Alexander II, the czar who freed the serfs. When I responded that Czar Vladimir is freeing Russia from the turmoil off reedom, this bureaucrat didn't blink.
"Putin is a successor to the Russian tradition," he said. "The Pioneers and the Nashis, the czarist Okhranka, the Soviet KGB and our FSB are all part of the centuries of the Russian glory."
The classics of Russian literature should make us proud - their words have proven durable. But wouldn't Russians rather see their nation step out of the dreamland of fiction and start living in modernity, not in some imagined greatness?
To be sure, modernity has its uncertain, scary side - as Nabokov has shown through his most sinister character, the sexual predator Humbert Humbert of "Lolita." But the freedom to think and act also allows people to flourish - as Nabokov demonstrates in his portraits of courageous characters like Pnin, the illusive Russian émigré caught upin the politics of American college life. Pnin, like his real-life countrymen, is free to embrace the West while remaining Russian -without going backward.</p>
Nina Khrushcheva teaches international affairs at The New Schoolin New York. She is the author of "Imagining Nabokov: Russia Between Art and Politics."
Читать почему-то хочется сразу меньше; но всё равно надо, наверное.