Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000280, Thu, 7 Jul 1994 09:48:23 -0700

VN & execution
The following message comments on the recent exchange between Galya Diment
& Gene Barabtarlo re VN, Edmund Wilson, and Fitzgerald & Hemingway--- all
arising from a quote in Updike's NEW YORKER review of a new Fitzgerald
biography. Editor

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 94 09:57:07 -0400
From: "David R. Slavitt" <slavitt@pobox.upenn.edu>

This is the weirdest stuff I've ever seen. Is the point that Nabokov fans
can imagine themselves to be standing on N's head, from which unaccustomed
and unearned altitude they can look down in derision on such dimwits as
Fitzgerald and Wilson?
If Wilson ever said such a thing to Fitzgerald about milk oozing out of the
squashed kitten, it was clearly to gross him out, a provocative joke, a
form of Princetonian twitting that seems not to be comprehensible in the
hinterlands. It is also possible that Fitzgerald made this story up out of
whole cloth and attributed it to Wilson. As a joke.
It is certainly the case that VN held Hemingway in something less than
highest esteem. He once referred to EH's book as "The Old Man and the
Fish," and I did not have the sense that his garbling of the title was
But so what?

David R. Slavitt
David R. Slavitt
TEL:(215) 382-3994