NABOKOV, VLADIMIR. 1899-1977.
Typed Letter Signed ("V. Nabokov"), 2 pp, 8vo, [Ithaca, New York], January 14, 1949, in Russian on Cornell University letterhead to Sergey Osipovich Yacobson, Slavic Department "Librarion" at the Library of Congress.
The great modern novelist, then in the Department of Russian Literature, Cornell University, sends Sergey Osipovich Yakobson, brother of linguist Roman Jakobson and head of the Slavic department in the Library of Congress, a letter of recommendation for his sister-in-law, Sonia Slonim. Translated in full:
"Dear Sergey Osipovich,
Please allow me to ask a favor. I just found out from my belle-soeur S.E Slonim that she would love to take one of the Library of Congress' available positions. The position is what in most ministries is called a "research analytical specialist" and at your Library of Congress simply "research analyst." From her letter I see that she has already applied and was considered a suitable candidate, but she is still a candidate, as she was called to come back on 18th of this month.
I would be very obliged to you if you could help her to get this position. Of course I would not ask you about it, if I was not sure that she could do this job well. The person who examined her found her satisfactory in all the criteria necessary for this type of job. I myself can add that she is fluent in four languages (French, Russian, German and English) and also knows a little bit of Spanish. With deep pain I found out about an accident that happened to your brother. I hope that he is on his way to recovery. Would be very happy to see you as the occasion presents itself, in New York, Washington or elsewhere. At this time wishing you a very happy New Year.
With kind regards,
In 1941, when Sonia Slonim applied to the US Army Security Agency as a cryptographer, the FBI investigated the rumor that she was a German spy. Nothing was ever proven against her.