It’s hard to imagine Vladimir Nabokov as a commercial failure. Yet that was precisely what happened with his second English-language work, the nightmarish and satirical dystopian novel “Bend Sinister,” which celebrates its 65th anniversary today. Originally titled “The Person from Porlock,” then “Game to Gunm[etal]” and later “Solus Rex,” “Bend Sinister” was Nabokov’s first novel composed in the United States, and was published by Henry Holt and Company. But it received only lackluster promotional treatment after the departure of Allen Tate, the only staff member at Henry Holt who admired the book.
Walther Rathenau: Weimar’s Fallen Statesman
By Shulamit Volkov
Yale University Press, 256 pages, $25.00