Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0023808, Tue, 19 Mar 2013 09:40:50 +0100

Correction: Response to Matt Roth (not Mark)
Apologies! It is Matt Roth, not Mark! I'm copy-pasting the response with
the correction.

Thank you in advance,

Dear All,

A quick response to Matt Roth and a quick note about my review of Andrea
Pitzer’s *The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov,* which is actually not so
much of a book review as an essay about theater and history. I take the
recent publication of Pitzer’s book and Nabokov’s early play *The Tragedy
of Mr. Morn* as an occasion to think about what Siggy Frank has aptly
called Nabokov’s “theatrical imagination.” Hence the original title:
“Disappearing Acts: Nabokov and the Theater of History.” The Boston Globe
piece is a straightforward book review and I’m thankful to Matt Roth for
sending it along.

I don’t call Andrea Pitzer *herself* “a solemn reader” and I note that her
archival research is to be admired. I enjoyed the book and wanted to write
about it. My main point was to engage in a conversation and to offer
another perspective on how to potentially think about what Nabokov might be
doing with the wealth of historical material that Pitzer brings to the fore
(and which I call helpful in the essay)—a theatrical transformation (a
metamorphosis) instead of just hiding. It would be interesting to hear
about other ways of looking at Nabokov’s use of history in his works. I am
grateful for Pitzer’s addition to the collective knowledge of Nabokov and
hope that her book is an occasion not only for positive or negative book
reviews but also for stimulating exchanges and conversations between
scholars and lovers of Nabokov. I don’t think such conversations need be
thought as “threats to approaches.” Respectful disagreements can be very

With warm wishes,


Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com

Manage subscription options: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/