Vera Nabokov

Vera Nabokov

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She admired the acclaimed #poet and wanted to make his acquaintance when she met him on a masked ball of Russian immigrants in Berlin 1923.

He was enchanted by the elegant, slender woman in a wolf mask. He was 24, she was 21 years old.

So it started, one of the big #love stories of the 20th century.

Both had escaped the Russian revolution. He was an aristocrat of old Russian nobility. She was the daughter of a wealthy Jewish merchant: Véra Nabokov, née Vera Yevseyevna Slonim.

“Yes, I need you, my fairy-tale. Because you are the only person I can talk with about the shade of a cloud, about the song of a thought. [...]

You came into my life [...] as one comes to a kingdom where all the rivers have been waiting for your reflection, all the roads, for your steps.”
(VN, Letters to Véra)

She was his source of inspiration, but also his editor and translator - the most important person in both his work and his life. He dedicated all of his books to her. They were married for more than 50 years until Vladimir's death in 1977.

But when biographer Brian Boyd asked Vera about her role in Nabokov's life, she replied with her enigmatic smile: "The more you leave me out, the closer to the truth you'll be."

Véra Nabokov died #onthisday 30 years ago, 7th April 1991, at age 89.