NABOKV-L post 0006169, Wed, 10 Oct 2001 08:44:29 -0700

Subject
Nabokov's dozen...described in a weekend newspaper (fwd)
Date
Body
The following article appeared in the weekend magazine
of "The Australian" newspaper on September 22-23 2001
(http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au)


Charles Cave
Sydney, NSW, Australia
charles.cave@bullant.com
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CULTURE VULTURE LOOKS BACK
Nabokov's Dozen (1958)

Vladimir Nabokov will forever be linked in the public mind
with Lolita. Published in 1958, it brought him success
as well as infamy - and then the same all over again,
four years later, when he turned it into a screenplay
for Stanley Kubrick. Yet for 35 years before that watershed,
Nabokov had been producing ingenious, artistically daring
fiction.

Born in Russia, he migrated to Boston, via Europe, and
reinvented himself as an anglophone writer. The 13 stories
of this collection, written from 1930 to 1950, justify his
reputation as one of the architects of postmodernism and
showcase his versatility. From the dreamlike menace
of Kafka ("Cloud, Castle, Lake") to the playful word-conjuring
of Borges ("Conversation Piece, 1945") and an eccentric brand
of sci-fi ("Lance"), these stories consistently astound.

Through them all runs Nabokov's trademark style, supple yet
precise, able to transform an everyday observation into
a poetic tour-de-force.

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