NABOKV-L post 0002284, Thu, 14 Aug 1997 14:35:58 -0700

VN & Hofstadter's _Le Bon Ton de Marot_
EDITOR's NOTE. NABOKV-L thanks Mary Krimmel for her survey of VN's
presence in Hofstadter's new book. I hope will follow her splendid
example and alert subscribers to other such Nabokoviana.
I would also call attention to Hugh Kenner's review of the
Hofstadter book in the 4 Jul 1997 (London) _Times Literary Supplement_.
There is also an interesting follow-up letter from Joan Rimmer in the 1
Aug. issue.
See my comment at end re Mary Krimmels "Volodya-Bunny" question.

Thank you, Peter Kretzman, for alerting me to Douglas Hofstadter's book Le Ton
beau de Marot. Your short synopsis proves to be exactly true to the book as I
found it.

Also thank you, Don Johnson, for maintaining this list, and you, Peter Kartsev,
for your comments on Le Ton beau.

Having finished reading the book, at least for the first time, I will post no
more notes re mentions of Nabokov. I make no claim to having included all, in
particular those references which do not actually name Nabokov.

Now, will someone please tell me what the Volodya-Bunny controversy is? I infer
from what Kretzman says that it concerns the spectrum of translation from
strictly literal to freely literary; where should I read about it (besides in
Le Ton Beau, which doesn't explicitly mention it)?

Mary Krimmel

The Volodya-Bunny (Vladimir Nabokov - Edmund Wilson) controversy was a
learned, if acerbic exchange of essays between the (former) friends
following Wilson's negative review in the NEW YORK REVIEW of BOOKS of
Nabokov's translation of Pushkin's novel-in-verse EUGENE ONEGIN. Nabokov
offered a literal, metered, non-rhyming translation accompanied by
bountiful commentary. Nabokov countered with his essays and letters
challenging Wilson's competence to evaluate his work. The exhcange between
them went on in American & British periodicals for over a year and
attracted contributions but a large number of American Slavists and
literary figures. It makes for great reading. Summaries may be found in
various books. See Brian Boyd's VN biography and Jeffery Myers' recent
biography. DBJ