NABOKV-L post 0004870, Tue, 7 Mar 2000 14:35:56 -0800

Re: Nabokov and Sterne (fwd)
EDITOR's NOTE. Christine Rydel supplies the only Sterne reference in VN's
fiction. There are doubtless others in his non-fiction. Christine Rydel is
working on a most useful volume WHO's WHO in VN Fiction. It catalogues
every proper name in the oeuvre and will be a boon to every VN researcher.

From: "Rydel, Christine" <>
Here are the only references to Sterne I found in the fiction:

The Gift--p. 266, Chapter Four in the 1963 Putnam's
edition--Belinski said "'. . . not only Cervantes, Walter Scott and
Cooper, as artists pre-eminently, but also Swift, Sterne, Voltaire and
Rousseau have an incomparably and immeasurably greater significance in
the whole history of literature than Gogol.' Belinski was seconded
later by Chernyshevski. . . who said that 'Gogol is a very minor
figure in comparison, for example, with Dickens or Fielding or

Look at the Harlequins!, McGraw-Hill, 1974--p. 139--in a discussion of
students' blue books and exams--"As a rule, one-tenth of the three
hundred minds preferred the spelling 'Stern' to 'Sterne' and "Austin'
to 'Austen.'"

p. 165--in quoting student bloopers--"Stern's style is very
sentimental and illiterative"

______________________________ Reply Separator
Subject: Nabokov and Sterne (fwd)
Author: "Donald Barton Johnson" <> at OFFICE
Date: 06.03.00 19:40

EDITOR's NOTE. Yes, VN does have Sterne references and perhaps someone can
give you chapter and verse. Sterne was, BTW, very big with the Russian
Formalists of Vn's youth. You can also search the NABOKV-L Archive. The
matter has come up before.

From: Kiran Krishna <>

I am reading Tristram Shandy at the moment. Nabokov said that
he admired Sterne, but are there any allusions to Sterne in Nabokov's


'Ineptitude equals thirsting for conclusions'
-Gustave Flaubert, Letter to Louis Bouilhet.