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My aversion to groups is rather a matter of temperament than the fruit of information and thought.

I was born that way and have despised ideological coercion instinctively all my life.

Pushkin's blood runs through the veins of modern Russian literature as inevitably as Shakespeare's through those of English literature.

Many of the major Russian writers, such as Pushkin, Lermontov, and Bely, have distinguished themselves in both poetry and prose, an uncommon accomplishment in English and American literature.

I have always maintained, even as a schoolboy in Russia, that the nationality of a worthwhile writer is of secondary importance.Does this signal fact have anything to do with the special nature of Russian literary culture, or are there technical or linguistic resources which make this kind of versatility more possible in Russian?And as a writer of both prose and poetry, what distinctions do you make between them?Chapter Fourteen in Speak, Memory will provide additional information.Do you have any opinions about the Russian anti-utopian tradition (if it can be called this), from Odoevski's "The Last Suicide" and "A City Without a Name" in Russian Nights to Bryusov's The Republic of the Southern Cross and Zamyatin 's We (to name only a few)? Is it fair to say that Invitation to a Beheading and Bend Sinister are cast as mock anti-utopian novels, with their ideological centers removed-- the totalitarian state becoming an extreme and fantastic metaphor for the imprisonment of the mind, thus making consciousness, rather than politics, the subject of these novels? Speaking of ideology, you have often expressed your hostility to Freud, most noticeably in the forewords to your translated novels.Everything that can be profitably said about Count Godunov-Cherdyntsev's biography of Chernyshevski has been said by Koncheyev in The Gift.

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