NABOKV-L post 0006102, Tue, 31 Jul 2001 17:58:32 -0700

Nabokov mentioned by B. R. Myers (fwd)
From: JR <>

I'm sorry but I have to comment here: <sarcasm>what and where on earth are
Myers' sources for this claim of least-respect? Aside from the seat of his
pants, that is. Is there a chart of respectability? Has he seen somebody
spitting on a copy of Laughter in the Dark? Is this part of the vast
critical conspiracy, fearlessly unearthed by Myers' in his Atlantic article,
to relegate good old-fashioned storytelling to the rubbish heap in favor of
that...that...fancy-pants stuff like Lolita? </sarcasm>I'm afraid these
sorts of generalities are as bad as anything Myers affects to sniff out in
those terrible, terrible novels of DeLillo and Proulx.

Joshua Roberts

**** I suspect, but may of course be wrong, that by "least respected" Mr.
Myers simply means least talked about in the "mainstream" critical
discourse -- and it would be hard to argue with him there. We also have
been witnessing, on the other hand and most recently with The Luzhin
Defence, the movie, how some of these more "obscure," i.e. Russian period,
novels become eventually "mainstreamed" in one fashion or the other.

On a different note, since I have the floor, I would also like to mention
that during today's Talk of the Nation (NPR) discussion of the
controversial Ohio child pornography case (Brian Dalton's diary), the talk
briefly turned to Nabokov and whether he could have been prosecuted by the
same Ohio law for writing _Lolita_. GD***

----- Original Message -----
From: "Galya Diment" <>
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2001 2:06 PM
Subject: Nabokov mentioned by B. R. Myers (fwd)

> From: D.K. Holm <>
> Readers of this forum are probably familiar with the Atlantic article by
> R. Myers, and the "controversy" it has fueled in literary circles. ......:
> Myers: Henry de Montherlant said that the main things a writer needs are
> the gift of observation and the gift of imagery. Nabokov displays both
> these gifts in Laughter in the Dark, but the story is so involving that
> you are barely conscious of his presence at all; instead, you see life
> through the eyes of a poet as if this were the most natural thing in the
> world. Today, needless to say, Laughter in the Dark is one of Nabokov's
> least-respected novels in the U.S.
> Readers interested in full interview and several articles about Myers's
> manifesto can find links at
> D. K. Holm