Thursday, April 06, 2006

A year or so ago I was in this sort-of Nabokov-only phase. During this time my friend Laura and I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by a well-known scholar of Nabokov regarding his short fiction. To my surprise (and I imagine everyone else's) we arrived to find that the scholar was blind. During the Q&A Nabkov's famous interview with Playboy was brought up and the man went into an uncomfortable rant regarding Playboy's introduction of their Braille publication.

'I spent the sixties on an anger-induced writing campaign to the editors regarding their lack of Braille-edition', he began.

'... and I heard everyone talking about their literary staff as being second-to-none at the time, but how was I supposed to know?', as he pointed to his cane (a gesture I found odd as I've never seen a blind man make a visual cue.)

Finally, he ended with these words which have stuck with me ever since:

'We did eventually get a Braille-edition, but it was the seventies then and all anyone cared about was pubes and it hasn't gotten better either, just pubeless'.

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