Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0021117, Fri, 31 Dec 2010 14:31:23 +0000

Re: Books of 2010: A Best Of List ...
Is it churlish at this time of ³on earth peace, good will toward men,"* to
hope that the anonymous blogger¹s style improves with more exposure to
Nabokov¹s un-prosaic, non-prozac prose? Yes, but a reluctant affirmative.

* Some grumpy scholars think the NT Greek actually says "on earth peace to
men of good will.² In view of recent postings on translational challenges,
it¹s worth noting that tiny scribal mutations can significantly alter God¹s
inerrant Mots-Justes.

I now have the unabridged Speak Memory and Complete Short Stories,
convincingly narrated, from audible.co.uk. In the SM sections on his
father¹s life/death (more poignant to me when actually spoken a la VN!)
Nabokov notes two fascinating father-son differences:

Father admired, inter alia, Hugo and Balzac, whom Son dismisses as

Father wrote smooth, effortless text with pen/ink (figuratively unblotted as
they said of Shakespeare and Mozart). Son scribbled with pencil making
endless corrections (as they say of Beethoven). Conveying restless thoughts
into uniquely-perfect words (see earlier debate) can be hard work. But
eternally rewarded.

Stan Kelly-Bootle

On 29/12/2010 13:00, "Sandy P. Klein" <spklein52@HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:
> http://wwwbillblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/books-of-2010-best-of-list.html
> Tuesday, December 28, 2010
> Books of 2010: A Best Of List
> .
> Hey everybody, it's that time of year again, when I pick the best books I've
> read over the previous twelve months. I don't remember what I've called this
> feature in the past, but I've probably had a different name each time, due to
> my failing memory. Titles like "Favorite Books of 2009
> <http://wwwbillblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-o-year.html> " or "What Are the
> Best Books I Read in 2008? THESE ONES ARE!
> <http://wwwbillblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/top-books-of-year.html> ", probably.
> It doesn't matter. The only salient facts about these lists are that I don't
> limit myself to ten, and I don't limit myself to books published that year.
> This last one is fortunate as I read very little new fiction in a given year,
> although this time around two whole books published in 2010 make the list,
> which for me must be some kind of record. The only other thing I want to
> mention, as I always do, is that this list is, for the most part, in no
> particular order, until you get to the top four or so. Even there it's kind of
> interchangeable among those, but I think the number one book on this list is,
> in fact, my number one book of the year. So now to the list.
> [ ... ]
> .4. Despair by Vladimir Nabokov - The greatest writer in the history of
> everything, Vladimir Nabokov could do, or seemed to be able to do, whatever he
> wanted to do with his fiction at all times, and in Despair he decided to give
> me a present, some forty-one years prior to my birth, by writing a chilling
> little murder story about Hermann, a man who believes he has found in Felix
> his exact double. Hermann is the kind of narrator -- deluded, absurd, funny,
> frightening, that Nabokov seemed able to create at will, without ever seeming
> to repeat himself, though when you can write prose like Vladimir Nabokov you
> probably don't waste a lot of time worrying about how your plots come across.
> But Despair's plot is nevertheless beautifully handled, culminating in a
> wintry confrontation in a forest that Nabokov himself called "good fun", but
> which struck me as fairly worthy of the novel's title. Despair is Nabokov
> working in the vein of Edgar Allan Poe, but in the end creating something
> entirely his own. Magnificent.
> [ ... ]
> Posted by bill r. at 11:41 AM
> <http://wwwbillblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/books-of-2010-best-of-list.html>
> <http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=2856547151523423474&postID=54447743
> 79946659894>

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