-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: [NABOKV-L] [Fwd: Pasternak, which reminds me]
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2012 16:23:55 +0000
From: Savely Senderovich <savely.senderovich@CORNELL.EDU>
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
References: <501E9CBB.9090308@utk.edu>,<4411402F442B4C55A14D5749CF918631@JANSY>

I believe Jansy Mello has a good hunch: VN exercised his aesthetic judgment in regard to Doctor Zhivago – he was amazed to see in BP’s novel treatment the same motif as in his Lolita: the affair of a mature man with a teenage girl which messed up all her life, an ambivalent motif as concerns the question of who is guilty, that is, a motif escaping a simple moral judgment. VN was firmly wedded to his peculiar artistic optics through which BP’s novel is simply unreadable. Some years ago, I delivered a course at Cornell dedicated to these two novels in order to show that two works linked by a remarkable affinity and written by two writers of the same generation and culture require quite different tuning of the reader’s optics which can be developed only in the process of very attentive reading overcoming preset habits.

Savely Senderovich
Professor Emeritus of Russian Literature & Medieval Studies
Cornell University
103 Morrill Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Tel.: 607 / 255-1105
Fax: 607 / 254-6051

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