Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025212, Sat, 22 Mar 2014 18:14:56 -0300

Re: Greatest Fictional Character
You made me curious about theses assessments. I copied the two directly
related to V.Nabokov:

*Billy Collins, poet - *Dilettante and monster, pursuer and pursued,
seducer and seduced, Nabokov's*Humbert Humbert* evades simple moral
verdicts almost as well as he did 50 years ago. *Lolita* still works to
implicate its readers in a reprehensible crime by addressing us as both
witnesses and jurors and by encasing Humbert's sins in Nabokov's
exquisitely playful prose.

*Errol Morris, filmmaker and author - **Charles Kinbote*--his enthusiasm
for poetry; *Bartleby--*his engagement with others; *Cain--*his love of his
fellow humans, even at a time when there were many fewer of them; *Ahab*--his
passion for seafood; *Meursault*--his warm feelings toward his mother; *Gregor
Samsa*--his unshakable self-esteem.

And I think VN would have appreciated the distinction between fictional
creation and fictional character by M.Cunningham who answered the question
as seriously as Billy Collins did without mocking the kind of "enquête" as
the one promoted by The Atlantic:

*Michael Cunningham, author: **Emma Bovary* may not be the greatest of
fictional characters, but she's the greatest fictional *creation*. She's
selfish, frivolous, and dim-witted. She's unfaithful. She's vain. But
Flaubert insisted so ardently on her right to our attention that he created
a tragic, immortal literary figure out of a twit. That's greatness.

2014-03-22 10:14 GMT-03:00 Jay Livingston <livingstonj@mail.montclair.edu>:

> The latest Atlantic<http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/04/who-is-the-greatest-fictional-character-of-all-time/358649/>asks authors, "Who Is the Greatest Fictional Character of All Time?"
> Errol Morris responds: *Charles Kinbote*--his enthusiasm for poetry . . .
> Morris, with similarly irony, lists some others.
> Billy Collins, tongue not at all in cheek, votes for Humbert.
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