Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0014352, Mon, 11 Dec 2006 17:59:53 -0500

Danish stiletto (praise for VN)
From DN to Stan,

I've neglected to mention how deeply touched I was by your most generous praise in a recent posting.


I prefer to read & relish VN’s novels as the great, uniquely anti-didactic novels they are. Full stop! I suppose the analogy with Homer’s bards has some weight, BUT prends garde a toi. Homer’s audiences KNEW the characters & endings and BELIEVED the stories; the Gods and Goddesses, mortals and semis were REAL not mythic. This was HISTORY in the original sense of ENTERTAINMENT. VN’s novels also entertain (does this expose me as pre-modern old-fashioned? Even catsarses [JJ’s catharsis] can be diverting) after many re-readings * so, like Homer’s original listeners, we are familiar with the plot-twists yet delight in the re-telling * and in a modern way the characters become as real as our neighbours. For 27 UK sterling pounds, I recently downloaded the audio-Lollita from Apple’s iTunes (a real golden trashery * I’ve found many of my own early vinyl, now digitised, performances [under my nom-de-folk, Stan Kelly]) . LO is now instantly accessible on my iPod (next to my heart-shirt-pocket) with J Irons playing the monster. Unlike the movies, DN, this Lolita is UNabridged, UNbowdlerised. And I hope the VN estate benefits from this downloading technology where PIRACY prevails beyond any reasonable control. ASCAP have not yet forwarded any rewards for my own iTunes material!

Reading VN the entomologist, physicist, theologian, logician, historian, autobiographer, self-commentator, literary-critic, translator, teasing-interviewee, or mathematician* is, as they say, rather OTHER. Needless to say, the sublime style, wit and mischief shine through, defining the eponymous, undivided monistic ‘Nabokovian.’

Stan Kelly-Bootle

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