Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0026106, Mon, 6 Apr 2015 01:51:16 -0300

[SIGHTING] Taiye Selasi and her stories
I heard about Taiye Selasi for the first time this afternoon. Although
initially only NabokovÂ’s Lolita was indicated among the books that left a
mark on her, to justify the caption “The daughter of Tina Turner and
Vladimir Nabokov” in the interview in French, we may discern the extent of
his “influence” in the interview in English (“the story came to me whole,”
“I wrote the first ten pages of the novel, or perhaps more accurately: wrote
them down”). The actual influence, though, must be checked by reading one of
her novels – and that I’ll be able to do only in the long run. What does she
mean by “each writer’s novel tells a voyage in time” (“chacun raconte un
voyage dans le temps”, an affirmation that wasn’t well translated here)?
I thought the sighting might be of interest to NablersÂ…

The Story Came to Me Whole, As All Stories Do: A Conversation with Taiye
Selasi, posted by Miwa Messer Ă— March 22, 2013
excerpts: “… Spectacular is a word used sparingly around the Discover Great
New WritersÂ’ table, but itÂ’s exactly the word multiple readers used to
describe Taiye SelasiÂ’s debut novel, Ghana Must Go, a diaspora story for our
global age told through lush prose and vibrant imagery.
WhatÂ’s the origin of Ghana Must Go?
The story came to me “whole,” as all stories do. I’d been waiting, thirty
years I think, to write a novel—that is, to receive a story worthy of the
form.[ ] waking up every day at 5 AM to do karma yoga, pulling shrieking
beets and carrots from the frozen earth, sitting in meditation meditating on
hypothermia—must have jolted the thing out of me. I was standing in the
shower when I saw all the Sais, all six of them, just like that [ ] It was
there that I wrote the first ten pages of the novel, or perhaps more
accurately: wrote them down.
What do you mean by that?
I love this Philip Glass quote: “I don’t write music, I write it down.” This
is certainly how prose always feels to me: something remembered, something
recorded, rather than a thing created. [ ]
Where do you find inspiration? Are there any books that have stayed with you
and influenced your writing?
I read the high school canon with great attention more because I was a good
student than because I was a good reader—but three books reached out,
grabbed me by the heart, and never let go. Lolita, The Great Gatsby and The
Unbearable Lightness of Being changed the way I thought of novels, because
Nabokov, Fitzgerald and Kundera seemed so utterly unafraid of breaking the
rules. They were the three most beautiful novels IÂ’d ever read, and lit some
still-burning fire in me, a years-long desire to find and if possible to
create the beautiful work. For me, this ‘beautiful work’ is text (novel,
film, music), densely gorgeous, rich, lush, twisted, wise, created by some
courageous artist who, at least in his art, is free.”

Les Grands Livres Ă  L'OBS
Didier Jacob 13 novembre 2014: La fille de Tina Turner et de Vladimir
[ ]” Adoubée par Salman Rushdie et Toni Morrison alors que son premier
roman était à peine publié, la nouvelle coqueluche de la littérature
afro-européenne, improbable mélange de Tina Turner et de Vladimir Nabokov, a
fait sensation en racontant l’histoire d’une famille déchirée dans un livre
d’une densité poétique et d’un lyrisme rares. Romancière anglaise,
américaine, ghanéenne? C’est toute la question, pour Taiye Selasi, qui
évoque son pays de sa voix singulière: «Le Ghana, son odeur paradoxale, une
poterie fêlée: un mélange d’effluves de sécheresse et de moiteur, humidité
de la terre, sécheresse de la poussière.»
Vous défendez l’idée d’un style international?
Goethe soutenait déjà cette idée. La «World fiction», c’est loin d’être
nouveau. [ ]. Mon roman pourrait se passer en Inde, avec une héroïne
indienne, ça ne changerait rien au livre. Dans un roman, les nationalités ne
jouent aucun rĂ´le.
Quels auteurs sont vos préférés?
Je dirai que quatre livres ont beaucoup compté pour moi: «L’insoutenable
légèreté de l’être», «Lolita», «Le Dieu des petits riens», et «Gatsby le
magnifique». Ce sont les livres qui m’ont fait être écrivain. Chacun d’eux
est une expérience poétique à part, et chacun raconte un voyage dans le


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