Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0017471, Mon, 15 Dec 2008 22:36:55 -0500

QUERY: Dostoevsky and Nabokov
Tim Henderson writes:

Possibly his most charitable statement-- from the 1964 Playboy
interview -- implies that it's partly frustration with American
veneration for the big D, and that he does grant him some points:

Dostoevski, who dealt with themes accepted by most
readers as universal in both scope and significance, is
considered one of the world's great authors. Yet you have
described him as "a cheap sensationalist, clumsy and vulgar. "

Non-Russian readers do not realize two things: that not
all Russians love Dostoevski as much as Americans do, and that
most of those Russians who do, venerate him as a mystic and not
as an artist. He was a prophet, a claptrap journalist and a
slapdash comedian. I admit that some of his scenes, some of his
tremendous, farcical rows are extraordinarily amusing. But his
sensitive murderers and soulful prostitutes are not to be
endured for one moment-- by this reader anyway.

On Sat, Dec 13, 2008 at 11:01 PM, Siri Bendtsen
<neptunes_only_daughter@hotmail.com> wrote:
> I have a very simple question for the list. It is a well known fact that
> Nabokov didn't like Dostoyevsky. My question is "why ?".

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