NABOKV-L post 0005815, Mon, 12 Mar 2001 10:31:29 -0800

From: Benjamen Tolstoy <>

Now, that the List turned to this extremely important and perilous theme -
Proust and VN - I'd like to respond with a low echo. Neither Pushkin, nor
Gogol, Browning, Joyce or Tolstoy focused Nabokov's own optics and wind up
his clock, but Marcel. Enchanted Nabokov took Proust's magical crystal, his
scientific machinery and his mixtures - and placed all this at
entertainment services. The way first chemists made use of alchemistry. He
indeed dedicated his life in art to wrestling with a reader, with a
pattern, - to entertaining. Perhaps this is the reason that his most
devoted readers from time to time neglect his books when passing some
dramatic, some serious periods of their lives. When they want to see through
the glass, not to savour patterns of rime. When they want to hear a man who
doesn't think about them. And then they turn to Proust.
I'd propose this theme to you all: art and entertainment.