Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0017458, Sat, 13 Dec 2008 19:55:27 -0200

Re: Fw: [NABOKOV-L] Third Man and Pushkin's Requiem
J.Aisenberg ( not ice ...a vulcano?):To Assa I say, I also thought of Greene's The Third Man, which would make sense since it was partly due to Greene that Lolita became such a scandalous hit. To Jansy, while I think you're right that Eliot is unquestionably all over Pale Fire, as well as at the end of Lolita, it seems hard to deny from letters and interviews that N. had anything but contempt for the man and his work (possibly due the charges that Eliot was an anti-semite). Nabokov, I recall, mentioned Spanish in interviews; in the quote below he says "Iberized"--so is N.'s way of pronouncing it really Portuguese?

JM: Greene's desserts may not have been acknowledged in Pale Fire by a reference to his novel "Third Man", but it's good to remember his role in divulging Lolita. Without going back to the L-Archives, I won't be able to remember why or how the "brocken specter" entered the picture.
VN also disliked Ezra Pound ("definitely second-rate", together with Eliot, if I recall his words correctly).
I wonder if rancour towards a poet's political stand would be as strong an influence to intervene in VN's opinions about the intrinsic quality of his work.
There's so much we ignore about most writers' characters, cowardice, ethical standarts, as we are also not well informed about the lives of important scientists ( take Edison, Marconi...), whose discoveries have become indispensable for the maintenance of our civilization ( just imagine a present-day Lettrocalamity!)

Btw: Today I was enchanted by an explanation concerning the word "Posh", ie, that it derived from "Port Out, Starboard Home" ( used to indicate the shaded sides of the ship during their route back and forth from England to India). Julian Barnes, who mentions it, warns us that "false etimologies may be more informative than the true ones" when he adds that this interpretation of "posh" is incorrect ( he quotes The Oxford English Dictionay reference to George Chowdharay-Best in the Mariner's Mirror). Posh...

[ JA, the "iberized" applies to the entire Iberian peninsula so it necessarily includes Spain ( I cannot imagine VN had Portugal in mind) ]

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