httpv://youtu.be/UbtvWnvbXTE I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child. So begins Vladimir Nabokov in the.
The surprise for me in this one is the extent to which the famed author, Nabokov, assiduously prepared for every published interview, including vetting all questions in advance, preparing his own written responses, and insisting that the published ranscriptions keep absolutely true to his every word:
"When it came to giving interviews, Nabokov was horrified by the notion of sitting back and having a casual chat with a reporter. “It has been tried at least twice in the old days,” he writes, “and once a recording machine was present, and when the tape was rerun and I had finished laughing, I knew that never in my life would I repeat that sort of performance. Nowadays I take every precaution to ensure a dignified beat of the mandarin’s fan. The interviewer’s questions have to be sent to me in writing, answered by me in writing, and reproduced verbatim. Such are the three absolute conditions.”
So the excerpt above from a 1969 interview with the British journalist James Mossman should be understood as a carefully prepared performance. As Nabokov says in his own introduction to the full text version of interview in Strong Opinions, Mossman submitted 58 questions on September 8, 1969, and “some 40 were answered and recorded by me from written cards in Montreaux.” In a conversation ranging from the pleasure and agony of composing fiction to Dostoyevsky’s “ghastly Crime and Punishment rigmarole,” the mandarin’s fan keeps a dignified beat."