Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0025224, Wed, 26 Mar 2014 04:02:22 -0700

Re: Greatest Fictional Character
my own personal favorite characters are John Merrick, the elephant man from the David Lynch film, and Dolores Haze, who early in the novel seems a fairly hazy creation but fills in and expands to become an extraordinarily heroic creature. I can't think of any other character whose charm, intelligence, humor and strength has been done with such vividness, as it were, between the lines.

From: Jansy Mello <jansy@AETERN.US>
Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2014 4:14 PM
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] Greatest Fictional Character

made me curious about theses assessments. I copied the two directly related to
V.Nabokov: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/04/who-is-the-greatest-fictional-character-of-all-time/358649/
Billy Collins, poet - Dilettante and monster, pursuer and pursued, seducer and seduced,
Nabokov’sHumbert 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
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
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 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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