Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0017059, Wed, 17 Sep 2008 08:58:50 -0300

Re: haunted by Nabokov’s stylishly defe nsive comment ...
Sandy Klein sent the link to http://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n18/ohag01_.html ( London Review of Books) with Andrew O' Hagan "Candle Moments" where he writes:
"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."

"Stylishly defensive Nabokov", if I remember it correctly, has praised Raymond Queneau ( who wrote "Exercises in Style", where we find the same very trivial story being told ninety-nine times in 99 different styles) and mentioned Buffon's epigram,“Le style est l’homme même” (“Style is the man himself”).

In V's biography of Sebastian Knight we learn that certain lives are..." but commentaries to the main subject". What I'm learning through TRLSK, though, is that the "dead man of the tale" always remains inaccessible and most often what we read about him is mainly a reflection of his biographer's own style (or the lack of it, as is the case of V.).

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