haunted by Nabokov’s stylishly defensive comment ...
Semi-Invisible Man: The Life of Norman Lewis by Julian Evans
Until recently, the art of modern biography was too little influenced by the man who invented it, James Boswell, and, even today, many of those who set out to write the lives of authors seem to be led by a suspicion that everything of interest about the subject might already have been said by the subject himself. The literary biographer is haunted by Nabokov’s stylishly defensive comment that the only biography of a writer that matters is the biography of his style.
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Andrew O’Hagan is the author of three novels and, most recently, The Atlantic Ocean, a collection of essays. He is a contributing editor at the LRB.
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