Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000125, Mon, 25 Oct 1993 09:11:17 -0700

Nabokov, New Novelist (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1993 11:34:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Nabokov, New Novelist

Of the very few living writers whom Nabokov saw fit to praise in writing,
the French New Novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet was lauded the most
unreservedly. Nabokov loved La jalousie, Le voyeur and Dans le labyrinthe,
and even went so far as to state that Robbe-Grillet deserved the Novel Prize
for his work. Robbe-Grillet, in his turn, considers Nabokov a great New
Novelist, has taught his work at American universities, and has said of him
"Il est, pour moi, LE grand ecrivain americain contemporain."

As early as his first novels in Russian, Nabokov was employing techniques
and stylistic devices which were to become the characteristics for which
the French Nouveau roman is best known: scientific (some would add
pathological) attention to detail, non-linearity of time, circularity of
events, investigation of the effects of states of consciousness on
perception, multiple levels of narrative, etc.

The relationship between Nabokov's work and the French New Novel is one
which has not, so far as I know, been examined at any length. Is anyone on
the list interested in pursuing this topic? Since it presumes a knowledge
of a body of work which falls outside the usual scope of NABOKV-L, I
hesitate to delve more deeply into it unless other subscribers share my
interest. Francophones and francophiles, comments?

Jeff Edmunds
(jhe@psulias.psu.edu or
jhe @psulias.bitnet)