In response to:

The Strange Case of Pushkin and Nabokov from the July 15, 1965 issue

To the Editors:

In a recent issue a correspondent alludes to the French rhyme:

Cet animal est très méchant:
Quand on l’attaque, il se défend.

For the benefit of my learned friends, I have devised 1. a paraphrase in English, 2. a fairly close English version, and 3. a very close Russian translation:


This animal is very wicked:
Just see what happens if you kick it.


This beast is very mean: in fact
It will fight back, when it’s attacked.


Zhivótnoe sié=prezlòe suschestvo:
Oboronyáetsy, kol’ trógayutevo.

Vladimir Nabokov

This Issue

January 20, 1966