NABOKV-L post 0005254, Sat, 1 Jul 2000 17:32:46 -0700

Fitzgerald in The New Yorker (fwd)
** I find this whole line of argument somewhat odd -- especially on a
Nabokov list, of all places! -- but I know I started it all
with the Fitzgerald's quote so here it is. For the sake of fairness,
Fitzgerald did instruct his daughter to take poetry classes if she wanted
to be a writer. And, yes, some schools did teach Tolstoy while he was
alive but this is all beside the point since there are obviously layers
and layers of "understanding" a sophisticated literary text so I am not
quite sure what kind of "understanding" we are talking about here. GD**


As to teaching popular writers and "artists", schools didn't teach
Shakespeare's plays in his day did they, or even many years
after. Obviously he was understood for a very long time without instruction.

Schools didn't teach Tolstoy in his day did they.

When did this teaching of contemporary writers begin? Have we forgotten that
simple question? It's a topic that intrigues me. Perhaps when academia
became so pervasive -- or the idea of academia? that writers started to
absorb that atmosphere and that audience, thinking the common reader was
dead. And this goes for Nabokov and others. Comments?

Phillip Iannarelli