NABOKV-L post 0026205, Thu, 28 May 2015 12:27:38 -0300

[SIGHTING] Robert Roper - a review of "Nabokov in America; On the
Road to 'Lolita' "
vladimir nabokov - Daily update ⋅ May 28, 2015 NEWS Washington Post: 'Nabokov in America' looks at how the country shaped the 'Lolita' novelist <> - Michael Dirda <> May 27 at 4:51 PM

“Nabokov in America: On the Road to 'Lolita' ” by Robert Roper. (Bloomsbury USA)
Robert Roper isn’t a specialist in the study of Vladimir Nabokov or his fiction. In fact, he is himself principally a novelist, though one who has also published a study of Walt Whitman and a biography of legendary mountain climber Willi Unsoeld. Still, as Roper says in the introduction to “ Nabokov in America <> ,” he has loved his subject’s sometimes controversial books for 50 years, “especially the ones written while he lived in the United States.” The most famous of these is, of course, “ Lolita <> ” (1955).
Today Nabokov’s early works, composed in his native Russian though later translated into English, tend to be respected rather than loved. “The Gift <> ” (1938) has been called the greatest Russian novel of the 20th century, but most readers — this one included — find it hard slogging. The late books, starting with “Ada” (1968), tend to be overly fancy and precious, self-reflexive exercises appealing only to the most ardent devotees. In effect, these lesser works are European, whether composed by a young exile fleeing the Russian Revolution or a world-famous candidate for the Nobel Prize (which he never won). […]

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