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Intellectual History Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2014

Kansas State University Libraries

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Full-Text Articles in Intellectual History

Eugene Onegin The Cold War Monument: How Edmund Wilson Quarreled With Vladimir Nabokov, Tim Conley Jan 2014

Eugene Onegin The Cold War Monument: How Edmund Wilson Quarreled With Vladimir Nabokov, Tim Conley

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

The tale of how Edmund Wilson quarreled with Vladimir Nabokov over the latter’s 1964 translation of Eugene Onegin can be instructively read as a politically charged event, specifically a “high culture” allegory of the Cold War. Dissemination of anti-Communist ideals (often in liberal and literary guises) was the mandate of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, whose funding and editorial initiatives included the publication of both pre-Revolution Russian literature and, more notoriously, the journal Encounter (1953-1990), where Nabokov’s fiery “Reply” to Wilson appeared. This essay outlines the propaganda value of the Onegin debate within and to Cold War mythology.