NABOKV-L post 0018313, Sun, 10 May 2009 20:10:28 -0400

Mary Gaitskill reads Vladimir Nabokov's short story ...

May 8, 2009
CAAF: Morning coffee

It is still raining. And I just realized that thanks to a fifth-grade production of "Rip Van Winkle" my class put on during elementary school I never hear thunder without thinking "God is bowling." Or excuse me, "playing nine-pins."

• A couple things to listen to: Mary Gaitskill reads Vladimir Nabokov's short story, "Symbols and Signs." You may think, as I did, that listening to this will be a spinach-y experience -- it won't be. Also amazing, albeit in an entirely different way:

Christopher Walken reads "The Raven." (Second link via Maud.)

• Speaking of Nabokov, scholar and author Alfred Appel, Jr.'s obituary in the New York Times ends with this anecdote:

Speaking at a memorial service for Nabokov in Manhattan in 1977, Mr. Appel recalled telling him about an antiwar protest at Northwestern during which a student had called Mr. Appel a eunuch. Nabokov said quickly, "Oh no, Alfred, you misunderstood him. He called you a unique."

Sam Jones reminded me that Nabokov also praised Appel's work in his eccentric "Anniversary Notes" -- one of those pieces which ideally would be presented in a fan of index cards.

• Ammon Shea picks his 26 favorite words from Reading The OED. Relatedly, I'm now holding auditions for my new glam rock band, Wonderclout.

Posted May 8, 2009 10:22 AM

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