NABOKV-L post 0004531, Mon, 1 Nov 1999 08:31:29 -0800

Subject
Nabokov and Foucalt Philosphy (fwd)
Date
Body
EDITOR's NOTE. Maurice Couturier is the leading French Nabokov specialist
and editor-in-chief of the excellent Pleiade edition of VN's works. The
first volume (pp700+) if the three volume set has just appeared. The notes
and other editorial apparatus make it an essential for all research
libraries with serious Nabokov holdings.
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In response to the recent mail concerning Nabokov and Foucault, may I take
the liberty to mention that, in my French publications, I have repeatedly
made reference to Foucault's works (on madness and sexuality), especially
in Roman et censure ou la mauvaise foi d'Eros (Seyssel: Champ Vallon,
1996)?

Foucault's philosophy is useful to understand Nabokov's brand of
"subversion", but he frequently behaved as a militant as well.

At a conference on Literature and Philosophy organized in Giessen by
Herbert Grabes a few years ago, I made ample use of Foucault in my
approach to the theory of the author; at the end of my paper, Ihab Hazan,
a good friend, argued that one shouldn't pay so much attention to Foucault
considering that he probably contaminated many of his friends with AIDS. I
strongly objected, of course, and to prove my point I mentioned Céline, a
good writer, though a dreadful fascist (retrospectively, I am not sure
this was a good argument).


I am glad you received the Pleéiade. It is very well reviewed in the press
and the radio. Next Friday, there will be two full pages about Nabokov in
Le Monde. A journalist from that paper came to interview me in
preparation for it.

I am already working on the second volume and actively doing a new
translation of Lolita.

Did I mention that in September I edited a special Nabokov "dossier" in
the NRF. It contains three texts originally published by Nabokov in his
three languages:
- my translation of "Chapter 16" of Speak, Memory,
- Laure Troubetzkoy's translation of "Easter Rain"
- a reprint of "Pouchkine ou le vrai et le vraisemblable".

Best,

Maurice