NABOKV-L post 0017589, Tue, 13 Jan 2009 01:21:24 -0200

Re: EDNote: responses to Schneider's "review"
EDNote [ responses to Schneider's "review"of Lolita...] ... most readers here will agree that the review does not reflect a very careful or deep reading of Lolita, and its superficiality doesn't really earn it any attention on the list--unless we want to analyze it as a pop-culture reflection of Nabokov's art...

JM: A possible perspective, but a rather depressing one, to look at Schneider's review as some kind of "pop-culture reflection". I applaud our Ed's decision when he states that it's better to ignore it.
I was sorry for rustic Angus M'Diarmid ("an uneducated highlander"), after I read the article in N&Q which has been kindly forwarded by Roth.
VN (SO), in an interview with Appel, confessed that he "detested regional literature full of quaint old-timers and imitated pronunciation" while he criticized parts of Finnegans Wake and its "dull mass of phony folklore". There's nothing phony in M'Diarmid, nor does his literary output represent an imitation of "regional literature.": his "piebald style" and "fulness of heart" is genuine enough..."like the torrents shooting impetuously from crag to crag, his sentences, instead of flowing in a smooth and even tenor, overleap with noble freedom the mounds and impediments of grammar, verbs, conjugations, and adverbs, which give tameness and regularity to ordinary compositions."
Southey's fascinated interest, like VN's own, offered me no hint about the total lack of "tenderness" that marks Mr. J.D's notes, or the original editor's preface, which recurrently falls back on M'Diarmid's "unparalleled sublimity" or his "towering sublimity of the mountain bard" (quoting Napoleon's famous words).

In VN's draft, M'Diarmid's incoherent transactions could be "heard through the worst parts of James Joyce".
In Pale Fire, following a note by Kinbote on Shade's "crystal land", we find the scholarly King planning to lecture on "Finnigan's Wake as a monstrous extension of Angus Mac-Diarmid's "incoherent transactions" and of Southey's Lingo-Grande ("Dear Stumparumper," etc.)".
It is my impression that, if VN was writing a parody to show his contempt through Kinbote, his criticism was aimed at J.Joyce's FW, and never at the innocent Highlander or at Southey's private literary games, both mentioned in passing.

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