Symbols and Signs, by Vladimir Nabokov


With all the troubles currently underway in the Ukraine and on the Crimean Peninsula, I can’t help thinking of earlier pogroms, massacres, famines, and other mayhem inflicted on the local population as fallout from broader struggles over power and resources. The long-term impact of these experiences on individual human beings is rarely discussed, but is nonetheless harrowing. Nabokov’s short story “Symbols and Signs” hints at how terror and exile have destroyed a single family, even though it seemingly got out of the Old Country alive.

Symbols and Signs, by Vladimir Nabokov [15:01]

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