NABOKV-L post 0000735, Wed, 4 Oct 1995 10:13:50 -0700

Re: Shakespeare and VN (fwd)
From: Brian D. Walter <>

You can find a couple of interesting references to Shakespeare in VN's
lectures on DON QUIXOTE. Specifically, Nabokov compared Cervantes'
knight errant to Shakespeare's king errant, Lear, in illuminating terms.
One of these comparisons comes on p. 21, and, from what I recall, there
are a couple more early in the HBJ paperback, although I don't have the
page references ready at hand.

Another interesting reference to Lear is found in VN's correspondence
with Edmund Wilson. Nabokov takes Wilson to task for emphasizing the
'social realism' aspects of Chekhov's stories by saying that he always
thought of Chekhov's stories being about the kinds of things Lear
discussed in prison with Cordelia. You can find this and other
references in the Shakespeare entry in Karlinsky's index to the letters.

Brian Walter
Dept. of English
Washington University
(314) 935-7429