NABOKV-L post 0018488, Sun, 2 Aug 2009 11:16:13 -0300

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Re: SIGHTING: Philly Lit. Examiner
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Peter McEllhenney[ The criticism of dictatorships in the writings of Vladimir Nabokov ] ... Nabokov said he valued books that were grounded in the imagination and talent of the specific writer, and which offered aesthetic bliss that he recognized by a thrill in his spine.All of this suggests that you won't find a criticism of dictators, or any other political or social ideas, in Nabokov's work. But here's the thing. I don't believe him. And neither should you.
[...]

Jansy: Indeed. Nabokov's assertions have different successive levels of affirmation,negation, affirmation, negation: which one expresses his point of view, should we try to find him to be "univocal"?
A sample, from RLSK:
My first duty after Sebastian's death was to go through his belongings. He had left everything to me and I had a letter from him instructing me to bum certain of his papers. It was so obscurely worded that at first I thought it might refer to rough drafts or discarded manuscripts, but I soon found out that, except for a few odd pages dispersed among other papers, he himself had destroyed them long ago, for he belonged to that rare type of writer who knows that nothing ought to remain except the perfect achievement: the printed book; that its actual existence is inconsistent with that of its spectre, the uncouth manuscript flaunting its imperfections like a revengeful ghost carrying its own head under its arm; and that for this reason the litter of the workshop, no matter its sentimental or commercial value, must never subsist.



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