Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0021041, Wed, 8 Dec 2010 13:30:53 -0200

Re: [NABOKOV-L] [Sighting] Go nçalo M. Tavares "Bib lioteca"
Re: [NABOKV-L] [NABOKOV-L] [Sighting] Gonçalo M. Tavares "Bib lioteca"Stan Kelly-Bootle [to JM et alii] "you have (in my book!) earned Tavares a wider English audience. How can we encourage more translations? ... readers must never fall for the various dubious Proof Methods in the endless search for Truth ...Popperian-Nabokovians (like BB, SHB and me) know that Deduction beats Induction; Induction beats Proof by Assertion...We do allow, under duress, VN's Proof by Strong, Superior Authority (see Tavares)...Fun to guess (or can we deduce, induct?) who the three men are meant to be in Tavares' tale. With Pale Fire never far from my mind, I wondered if they are Shade/Kinbote-Botkin/King Charles, having somehow escaped Nabokov's authorial control, are disputing their own identities. In comes the creator to end the meta-meta-fictional nonsense?"

JM: Right! VN's Proof by Strong Superior Authority (PSSA),apud SKB. And the three men around a table, plus the dictionaried tall intense one, indeed, could be picturing VN's trio (no Gradus?).

I'm only half-way through Tavares's fourth book ( by coincidence the fourth of his Kingdom tetralogy: "Learning to Pray in the Era of Technique"), but I'll dare to affirm that Tavares is almost the exact opposite of Nabokov. Whereas Nabokov's verbal world expands, Tavares' constricts (the reader must learn the exact meaning of "intense" to remember it whenever he finds it in any novel, for example). He is a lover of details (at least of extremely detailed descriptions), he has a fascinating view of "forking paths" (unlike Borges & closer to Nabokov), and about "un coup de dées". No exhuberatings but parable-like flatness, metaphors but no hypertext. A great shattering read...

It's too early to conclude that he writes like it's said of American Western movies ("seen one, discover you've seen them all" or "seen them all, discover you've seen one"). He has enough strength to alter one's optimistic vision of mankind and its world, but he is in the grip of the book-selling.machine now.
Search-tools inform that Tavares has been translated into English * and, very successfully, into French. He was awarded the prize for "The Best Foreign Book 2010 published in France" (Gonçalo M. Tavares vence Prémio do Melhor Livro Estrangeiro 2010 - 22 de Novembro, 2010), to the fourth novel of his series "O Reino." This prize was created in 1948 and is considered the "antechamber of the Nobel," by the editorial group that sustains it. They chose Musil, García Marquez, Grass, Rushdie, Sabato, Pamuch, Roth and Antunes. The surname of one of the members of the jury is Nabokov (Ivan Nabokov, Plon)**

*..."This is a powerful little book and the Dalkey Archive should be commended for bringing it to an anglophone audience. Kushshner's smooth translation makes good work of its deadpan humour and the atmosphere of oppression. The rest of the "kingdom" series is forth coming; if Jerusalem is anything to go by, Tavares's standing will soon be global. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT .

** André Bay, Daniel Arsand ( Éditions Phebus et Auteur), Manuel Carcassonne (Éditions Grasset), Gérard de Cortanze (Gallimard), Nathalie Crom (Telerama), Solange Fasquelle (Femina prize), Anne Freyer (Seuil), Christine Jordis (Gallimard; Femina), Jean-Claude Lebrun ( L Humanité), Joseph Mace-Scaron (Marianne), Ivan Nabokov ( Plon), Joel Schmidt (writer) and Laurent Ebzant (Hyatt Regency Paris-Madeleine).:

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