As Benevolent Dictator, Vladimir Nabokov Would Abolish Muzak & Bidets: What Would Make Your List?

nabokov abolish

In 1969, the BBC’s James Mossman conducted an extensive interview with Vladimir Nabokov, which was first published in a magazine called The Listener, and later in a book entitled Strong OpinionsSome of Mossman’s questions were serious: “You’ve said that you’ve explored time’s prison and have found no way out. Are you still exploring…? Some were lighter: “Why do you live in hotels?” (Answer here.) And still other questions fell somewhere in between, like: “If you ruled any modern industrial state absolutely, what would you abolish?” It turns out that loud noises, muzak, bidets, and insecticides made the great novelist and lepidopterist’s list.

Which raises the question, if allowed to play benevolent dictator for a day, what would you obliterate? Me? I’d probably start with almost anything likely to appear in today’s Billboard Top 5 — dreck that’s not too far from muzak.

via Biblioklept

Related Content:

Vladimir Nabokov Names the Greatest (and Most Overrated) Novels of the 20th Century

Vladimir Nabokov’s Delightful Butterfly Drawings

Vladimir Nabokov Creates a Hand-Drawn Map of James Joyce’s Ulysses

Vladimir Nabokov Makes Editorial Tweaks to Franz Kafka’s Novella The Metamorphosis

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Support Open Culture

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s educational mission, please consider making a donation. We accept PayPal, Venmo (@openculture), Patreon and Crypto! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.