In Memoriam: Don Barton Johnson (1933-2020)

Submitted by dana_dragunoiu on Mon, 08/31/2020 - 11:24

by Mary Ross

I want to say I am sorrowed to learn of the passing of D. Barton Johnson. It was good to read all the wonderful tributes to this remarkable man. As a newcomer to Nabokov in 2018, I have known Don Johnson largely through his ubiquitous presence while scrolling the archives of his List-Serve creation. Eventually, I read Worlds in Regression and was gratified to learn that I was not the only one who appreciated Nabokov’s metaphysics. I subsequently found that there were others as well who have come to that understanding; yet Don Johnson was pre-eminent. I was therefore extremely gratified when I discovered he had downloaded my first paper on academia.edu in March of 2019. I sent him a short thank you and appreciation of his work but did not hear back. Now I can attribute that, perhaps, to a failing memory, but really, I hope that is a tribute to his still very functioning curiosity, engagement, and intellect. This website was created through the hard work of volunteer Nabokovians to carry on what Don Johnson began. I would like to urge members, éminences grises and newbies alike, to continue to make use of this valuable resource in the spirit of D. Barton Johnson.