Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0005950, Fri, 4 May 2001 20:42:13 -0700

[Fwd: RE: VN & John Crowe Ransom]
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: VN & John Crowe Ransom
Date: Fri, 4 May 2001 10:52:56 -0700
From: Mark Bennett <mab@straussandasher.com>

VN is on record as admiring Ransom's poetry, particularly "Captain
Carpenter," so he was familiar with at least some aspects of Ransom's
But isn't VN being a bit disingenuous here? I seem to recall that
he describes his own literary worlds as utter tyrannies, in which the
characters, "even the most incidental," are subject to the cruel, if not
arbitrary, demands of the author's artistic purpose. Perhaps such a
is, given its purpose, a "magic democracy"? In any event, I suspect
Ransom and VN arrived at their similar views independently

> -----Original Message-----
> From: D. Barton Johnson [SMTP:chtodel@gte.net]
> Sent: Friday, May 04, 2001 10:30 AM
> Subject: VN & John Crowe Ransom
> ------------------
> Nabokov's lecture on Bleak house ends with the words:
> "A great writer's world is indeed a magic democracy where even some very
> minor character, even the most incidental character like the person who
> tosses the twopence, has the right to live and breed."
> Ransom, in *The New Criticism*, in the essay on I.A.Richards, says:
> "'A beautiful poem is a democratic state, so to speak, which realises
> the
> ends of a state, without sacrificing the personal character of its
> citizens.'"
> I wonder if Nabokov was quoting Ransom, both are quoting someone else,
> or both arrived at the same comparison coincidentally.
> Ransom, by the way, is a brilliant literary critic.
> Cheers!
> yours
> Kiran
> "It is impossible, by the way, by picking up one of anything to pick one
> that is not atypical in some sense."
> - R.P. Feynman, The Character of Physical Law
> http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/~kiran
> http://www.physics.usyd.edu/hienergy