Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000123, Sat, 23 Oct 1993 14:24:34 -0700

Nabokov's punctuation
The messages from John Lavagnino and Galya Diment on VN's
punctuation raise an interesting issue. I would add that there is yet
another dimension that is also worth exploring--indeed, a virtually
untouched area of Nabokov's style. VN, as a writer who considered ALL
aspects of his text as part of his art, obviously included punctuation. One
obvious case is that of (parentheses) in which critical information for
the reader (and often counter to expectation) is misleadingly presented in
what appears to be "a throw-away" line. Several examples come to mind just
off-hand. You might want to sift through your own minds on this. Over the
years I have haphazardly amassed many examples of Nabokov's use of
punctuation marks for "artistic" purposes. TRANSPARENT THINGS, for
example, is loaded with these. If you have favorites of your own, you
might want to share them with the net.