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by Alexander Pushkin
After all the humorous huffing and puffing, all the tricks and traps and underhand maneuvers on the author’s part, the forewords exist, after all, to locate the English-language versions of Nabokov’s books within the context of a person in exile.
On a page of Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the HMS Beagle Round the World, Mark Twain wrote: “Can any plausible excuse be furnished for the crime of creating the human race?”
Recently it struck me that the list of books I’ve started and not finished has grown quite formidable. I ask myself what this “means,” if it reflects some kind of moral devolution.