NABOKV-L post 0017148, Sat, 4 Oct 2008 11:57:19 -0400

THOUGHTS: VN and Philip Roth
In response to Rodney Welch:
By the way, didn't VN loathe "Portnoy's Complaint"? According to the
following link he
Anyone have any idea whether this damning denunciation has made its way
into book form?

1. Joseph Aisenberg writes: I would think he would have considering the
fact that Roth is as bland a writer as they come, his prose clunky and
gray, despite the sexy parts.

2. Jansy Mello writes: Unfortunately I'm too inapt with links inserted
into recondite addresses. This is why I could not read the "damning
denunciation." From Ginzburg's Avant-Garde entry ( under "Nabokov's
Complaint") I got the impression that Nabokov himself had no direct say
in it, that it was some sort of a satire.

"Portnoy's complaint" must be well written and it's probably an
interesting read to those young men toiling under a physiological
prompting to "repeat" ( and would they find time to read it? I don't
think so). It bored me - but, "The Human Stain" ( I'd only watched the
movie with A.Hopkins as Coleman), up to now, has been consistently as
wonderful as Portnoy's first pages.

‘Indignation’ Incites Anger opens the comments by Ryan J. Meehan, sent
to the list by S.Klein.
Meehan contrasts VN's characters who while they "were ultimately the
victims of their author’s mechanisms, they were also, fundamentally, the
labors of a loving creator." to "Marcus Messner, the protagonist of
Philip Roth’s 29th book, “Indignation.” As is now common in his novels,
Roth writes autobiographically: Marcus is a young Jewish man from
Newark, N.J., with a formidable intellect and an equally formidable
That is a "damning denunciation", no? It seems that VN himself would
not have pen-awarded him now...

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