NABOKV-L post 0004416, Mon, 27 Sep 1999 08:44:27 -0700

Subject
FW: George Steiner's New Yorker article debunking Nabokov (fwd)
Date
Body
Steiner uses his December 10, 1990 NYer review of the first volume of
Boyd's biography to take some cracks at the biographee, suggesting (among
many other things) that Nabokov's is a "complicated, uneven, fundamentally
problematic body of work . . . an achievement that deliberately demands to
be regarded as major but much of whose spell intimates marginality and the
arcane charms of the 'minor classic.'" The review appears on pp. 153-8.

Cynthia Ozick's long and unapologetically critical article "T. S. Eliot at
101" appears in the November 20, 1989 NYer, pp. 119-54.

BW
Brian Walter
Washington University

-----Original Message-----
From: Donald Barton Johnson [SMTP:chtodel@humanitas.ucsb.edu]
Sent: Sunday, September 26, 1999 9:52 PM
To: NABOKV-L@UCSBVM.UCSB.EDU
Subject: Re: George Steiner's New Yorker article debunking Nabokov (fwd)

EDITOR's NOTE. Phillip Iannarelli sent in the query below and, at my
request, supplied addition info in the message below. Can anyone identify
and locate the Steiner article?
-------------------------------------------

Years ago I read an article in The New Yorker by Steiner debunking
Nabokov
> and could never find it again. More importantly, I wondered if anyone
>has refuted that article anywhere in print or on a Nabokov website. Can
>you help?



Date: Sun, 26 Sep 1999 19:35:59 EDT
From: Iann88@aol.com
To: chtodel@humanitas.ucsb.edu
Subject: Re: George Stiener's New Yorker article debunking Nabokov

Dear Mr. Johnson,

I just remember that the article was extremely belittling to N. Steiner
said
that N had very little to say and was a minor author. He said N. was an
imaginative prose stylist, but not an important writer and took each book
one by one to demonstrate it. I was quite taken aback by the article. Just
the way a woman in the New Yorker wrote a debunking article on T.S. Eliot,
which I'd also like to find. I don't know if The New Yorker has a
bibliography or index of all their articles. They must.

But you know, sometimes these negative articles are like a breath of fresh
air after reading so many scholarly articles on minutiae of an author's
work.

But then Steiner is a history of ideas man and we know what N. thought
about
THAT.
As for me, I always thought of N as the Russian Proust. He's an extension
of
Proust and without Proust you couldn't have had Nabokov. Yes, Nabokov is a
memory man.

Anyway, I am sure other people have read the Steiner piece. I am surprised
it's not in the N. bibliography. The other Steiner article you mentioned is
in it.

Hope somebody can help and especially refute Steiner. I am surprised N's
son
never said anything about it. This article cannot have just disappeared
without comment. No way! I am shocked it didn't start one of those "wars" a
la New York Review of Books.

Phillip Iannarelli