Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000180, Thu, 13 Jan 1994 14:05:06 -0800

Mary & Gatsby
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 94 11:04:57 CST
From: Gene Barabtarlo <GRAGB@mizzou1.missouri.edu>
To: chtodel%humanitas@hub.ucsb.edu

The subscriber who wrote about "most Americans" and Gatsby
misses the entire subject matter: neither Wilson, nor Mizener, nor
Fitzgerald belongs to the majority of Americans, and the polemics have
absolutely nothing to do with the "American dream" whatever this poshlost'
may mean. Nabokv simply dropped a non-committal remark, which should not
be ascribed a profound significance. When Galya Diment first presented her
conference paper, one of the respondents--Alexander Dolinin-- justly said as
much, adding, also correctly, that the hero of the
novel is not Gatsby but Caraway. "Most American" readers simply misread the
novel, as they did Lolita, and indeed as they SHOULD. I was also surprised
to hear Galya Diment say that Pnin was an "Everyman" mistreated in the hands
of Nabokov the "elitist".