Dear Carolyn,
 
You write: << You say that he is not honest and that his readers are entitled to expect honesty: I don't think so. Nobody could be "honest" about such a thing and we, readers are not his judges, are not in any way "entitled" to expect a full confession from him. >>
 
I did not say he was not honest; I wrote of my suspicion that he was not. And I did not say we are entitled to expect a full "confession" from him. I am not sure what the content of such a confession would be.
 
What I wrote was:
 
<<
What I find most questionable, or at least puzzling, is his insistence that "Lolita" is "pure" and "abstract", so utterly removed from his own concerns, whereas his most casual references in interviews, and other parts of his oeuvre, so frequently return quite (to me) unexpectedly and arbitrarily to the paedophilic theme, like a sore thumb. I am dismayed not so much by the apparent obsession as by the suspicion that he is simply not honest here, when one feels that in an interview, especially one prepared to be read from index cards, his readers are entitled to expect honesty -- the truth, even if not necessarily the whole truth. It is true that he said art itself is a form of deception, but surely we are entitled to expect that his writings and interviews about himself and his art should not be.
 >> 
 
He was under no obligation to give any interviews at all. Samuel Beckett, very soon after he realised he had become famous, refused to give any interviews, and wrote nothing about his art. All I am saying is that, if VN chose to give interviews, and especially if these were carefully calculated and read from index cards, then we are indeed entitled to expect that what he said should be truthful: not a "full confession" of anything, and, as I explicitly said, "not necessarily the whole truth" -- as if there could be a "whole truth" anyway.
 
Anthony
 
 
  

 
 
Anthony Stadlen
"Oakleigh"
2A Alexandra Avenue
GB - London N22 7XE
Tel.: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857
Email:
stadlen@aol.com
Visit: "Existential Psychotherapy & Inner Circle Seminars" at http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/
 
In a message dated 29/04/2010 02:30:08 GMT Daylight Time, laurence.hochard@HOTMAIL.FR writes:
Dear Anthony,
 
 In his "Speak, Nabokov", MichaŽl Maar discusses this and is of the opinion that VN was intimately concerned by this theme and that he progressively lowered his guard (from "Ada" on) and finally indulged himself in TOOL.
You say that he is not honest and that his readers are entitled to expect honesty: I don't think so. Nobody could be "honest" about such a thing and we, readers are not his judges, are not in any way "entitled" to expect a full confession from him.
He conveyed through his fiction all he had to say on the subject.
Besides, there are other themes than the paedophilic one, such as "the good woman" (Disa, Clare Bishop, Zina), or "the dangerous woman" (Nina Lecerf, Margot, The queen (I forget her name) in KQK) and others, to which he frequently returns, too.
As for VN's kindness, the way I feel is that he was as kind as John Shade and as insufferable as Kinbote. this is, I think, what PF is about.
"Human life can be compared to a person dancing in a variety of forms around his own self" (Transparent Things) 
 
Carolyn,
 
I think it is difficult to find evidence of kindness because true kindness is often invisible: it is of the kind VN described in Lucette's keeping company to the Robinsons just before committing suicide, or Disa's being kind to a servant despite her discovering yet another proof of Kinbote's infidelity.
 
Laurence Hochard    

Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2010 19:30:06 -0400
From: STADLEN@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] a BIRTHDAY proposal?
To: NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU

Dear Carolyn,
 
It was a serious response (though not intended for his birthday -- that was an editorial idea). I agree that these are apparently rather pitiful pieces of evidence for his lovingkindness, and an extermination-camp commandant could doubtless provide apparently equivalent or better evidence. But I am somehow convinced of VN's basic true kindness, as opposed to the sentimental "kindness" of the commandant. I was dismayed that I could think of no better evidence than these two feeble examples. Perhaps I am too easily swayed by VN's explicitly stated love of kindness and dislike of cruelty, but they always struck me as genuine.
 
What I find most questionable, or at least puzzling, is his insistence that "Lolita" is "pure" and "abstract", so utterly removed from his own concerns, whereas his most casual references in interviews, and other parts of his oeuvre, so frequently return quite (to me) unexpectedly and arbitrarily to the paedophilic theme, like a sore thumb. I am dismayed not so much by the apparent obsession as by the suspicion that he is simply not honest here, when one feels that in an interview, especially one prepared to be read from index cards, his readers are entitled to expect honesty -- the truth, even if not necessarily the whole truth. It is true that he said art itself is a form of deception, but surely we are entitled to expect that his writings and interviews about himself and his art should not be.
 
I am surprised that there appears to have been no discussion of this. What do others think?
 
Anthony Stadlen
 
 
Search the archive Contact the Editors Visit "Nabokov Online Journal"
Visit Zembla View Nabokv-L Policies Manage subscription options

All private editorial communications, without exception, are read by both co-editors.



Envie de naviguer sur Internet sans laisser de trace?
La solution avec Internet Explorer 8
Search the archive Contact the Editors Visit "Nabokov Online Journal"
Visit Zembla View Nabokv-L Policies Manage subscription options

All private editorial communications, without exception, are read by both co-editors.

Search the archive Contact the Editors Visit "Nabokov Online Journal"
Visit Zembla View Nabokv-L Policies Manage subscription options

All private editorial communications, without exception, are read by both co-editors.