Thirteen or so years ago, it was weekend morning and I awoke to the pounding of my door by a housemate. "Jeremy! There's some Russian guy on the telephone who wants to speak with you."
Russian guy? I reflected on this in my confused and possibly hung over state. Then I decided who it was- it must be a friend of mine calling to play a practical joke.
But no, it was Dmitri Nabokov.
Some weeks before, I had called him to talk about the recently produced film version of Lolita, which was having difficulty finding a film distributor in the United States. (I was working on an article about the movie for Boulder Weekly.) No one answered but I left a message on the phone that I had gotten through directory assistance online.
Excited to now have an opportunity to speak with him by phone, I went on with the interview. Eventually he got around to asking, "So, when is this story going to come out?" "Oh," I said, "It came out a few weeks ago." Our interview didn't go on much longer after that.
I knew he was quite a personality and I would have loved to meet him in person. Opera singer, race car driver, translator of many of his father's works. I was saddened to read the news of his death this morning.