SHI REVIEWED | Nabokov’s “Pnin”

Vladimir Nabokov first appeared to me as a stranger’s name on a Cornell t-shirt. A quick search online showed me that he’s a big deal—big enough to be printed on the same shirt as Ginsburg, Sagan and Morrison. Curious about his work, I found his novel Pnin at Olin Library. My first puzzle was learning how to pronounce the title. According to Nabokov from an interview, “To get the ‘pn’ right, try the combination ‘Up North,’ or still better ‘Up, Nina!’, leaving out the initial ‘u.’ Pnorth, Pnina, Pmn.