Playboy, 1964: Alvin Toffler Interviews Nabokov

Pointed out by Evgeny Morozov, the conversation places one of America’s great futurists opposite the brilliant novelist Vladimir Nabokov for a wide-ranging discussion that took place not long after Kubrick’s interpretation of Lolita was released. Topics included: lepidoptery, Hemingway, the writing process, languages, and God.

Here’s my favorite exchange.

AT: Many readers have concluded that the Philistinism you seem to find the most exhilarating is that of America’s sexual mores.
VN: Sex as an institution, sex as a general notion, sex as a problem, sex as a platitude– all this is something I find too tedious for words. Let us skip sex.
AT: Have you ever been psychoanalyzed?
VN: Have I been what?
AT: Subjected to psychoanalytical examination.
VN: Why, good God?

You can find the rest here. I really enjoyed it — the conversation will take a spot beside the interview with McLuhan [PDF] as another of Playboy’s contributions to my own personal canon.

Oct. 8 2012, 10:45 am