Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023674, Thu, 14 Feb 2013 22:27:49 -0700

Re: fulmerlog:VN Sighting: Michael Chabon on Wes Anderson's
Nabokovian Worlds
Ron Rosenbaum is quite right to point out that I responded to misreadings
of Chabon's comment with my own. Of course Chabon said that Nabokov, not
Kinbote, tucked Zembla into the housing of Shade's epic.

I cannot agree, though, that Zembla is not "miniature" or "tucked" in.
Certainly it's florid and blatantly mad, but if we see it a version of
Russia, it's certainly a miniature version--much smaller in land and
population, and we see almost none of its literature, no admirable people
except maybe Oswin Bretwit, and none of its history except for monarchs,
none of whom are "great". (Likewise if we see Shade's poem as an epic,
it's certainly a miniature epic.) As for "tucked", if we were reading a
real poem and commentary, the Zembla material would be ridiculously
overgrown, but as we're reading a strange novel, then the author has found
a way to put his distant northern land into it as a strange but vital part.

I must agree with Jansy Mello that "sexually left-handed", a term that
Alexey Sklyarenko found in *The Eye*, is homophobic as well as part of the
mirror fun in *Pale Fire.*

**Jerry Friedman

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