The fondness for writing being inherited from my mother, who wrote the Town & Country column for the Maine Sunday Telegram, a sense of condolence with reporting the death just four days ago of Dmitri is sped by having had the privilege of his company and conversation during his once seasonal sojourns in Palm Beach as the famed son of Vladimir Nabokov. (News , News ).

Dmitri possessed that gift of understanding art forms in a grandness of range beyond what most of us experience at constricted when not linear levels of existence. He was a master of craft be it racing offshore power boats or training his skills in literary criticism. The seminal steward of his father’s writings, he excelled in parallel lives from his career as an opera singer to competing with collectable examples of automotive precision.

Central to these passions as a gentleman – and consistent with classical notions a la Castiglione – were his celebrated, sometimes published observations in matters concerning love of women, song, and literature. Dmitri was, as in his operatic performances, I am told, demonstrative of the classical lover, exhibiting a hue and brilliance with both languages and the physicality of motion.

Mr. Nabokov also revealed a mercurial sense of utility. Most celebrated perhaps was his recent decision to publish (on my birthday of November 17, 2009) his father’s unfinished, final title, “The Original of Laura” – admittedly reported by the son as being against his father’s wishes. And here D and I shared the common divergence of both having disregarded parental counsel to pursue careers in law; to this day appears his 6’5” frame bent by affront of the notion recalled in our conversation how it would be no less, no more than purgatory to spend one’s life dealing with “other peoples’ problems” when we were quite enthralled with generating our own individual digressions so found and to be humored in daily life.

For the past several years, Dmitri had struggled with physical challenges; ones that often tested his mental capacities. Yet, as with his now final call to the curtain, Dmitri Nabokov remains a life’s talent that not only elevates his father’s legacy but will lean forward with immortal-like speed that persuasion of the human spirit shared amongst us all in remembrance of him.


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