NABOKV-L post 0014445, Tue, 19 Dec 2006 13:08:03 EST

Re: BS & foreign

In a message dated 19/12/2006 14:21:48 GMT Standard Time,
_NABOKV-L@HOLYCROSS.EDU_ (mailto:NABOKV-L@HOLYCROSS.EDU) , ie Stan Kelly-Bootle, writes:

On 12/12/06 15:33, "Chaswe@AOL.COM" <Chaswe@AOL.COM> wrote:

He sounds as at his most "foreign" in BS…..

VN’s intro starts: “Bend Sinister was the first novel I wrote in America,
and that was half a dozen years after she and I adopted each other.” Since
Bend Sinister is set in what seems to be some kind of soviet or fascist
police-state, your ‘foreign’ is remarkably well-chosen.

I didn't actually write that VN 'sounds as at his most "foreign" in BS', so
it is not "my" foreign in this context. I was, at that time, merely echoing
what, I think, Jansy had written. In fact, I very soon afterwards realized
that I was confusing Bend Sinister with The Real LIfe of Sebastian Knight,
which is where I think VN's written English sounds at its most foreign.

Which of VN's novels --- apart from Lolita, Pnin and Pale Fire, as I've
already listed --- are set in America? This is a totally different question, of
course, from which of them sounds least "English". It doesn't seem to matter
where Conrad's novels are set, they still sound un-English to my inner ear.
Not a strong, but a subjective sensation, naturally.


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