NABOKV-L post 0018385, Tue, 16 Jun 2009 12:01:43 -0400

Re: Happy Bloomsday with a VN Sighting in NY Times OpEd

In todays commemoration of Bloomsday, an author turns to Nabokov when explaining why Ulysses personally affected him:

Vladimir Nabokov once said that the purpose of storytelling is “to portray ordinary objects as they will be reflected in the kindly mirrors of future times; to find in the objects around us the fragrant tenderness that only posterity will discern and appreciate in far-off times when every trifle of our plain everyday life will become exquisite and festive in its own right: the times when a man who might put on the most ordinary jacket of today will be dressed up for an elegant masquerade.”

This is the function of books — we learn how to live even if we weren’t there. Fiction gives us access to a very real history. Stories are the best democracy we have. We are allowed to become the other we never dreamed we could be.

Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 05:28:36 -0400
From: gs33@CORNELL.EDU

Gavriel Shapiro, The Sublime Artist's Studio: Nabokov and Painting (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 2009).
ISBN: 978-0-8101-2559-9.

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