File spoon-archives/phillitcrit.archive/phillitcrit_1998/phillitcrit.9803, message 70


Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 08:14:52 EST
Subject: PLC: Nabokov


Eric,

Starting to read the lectures on Russian literature, excellent.  His virtue
his cardinal sin, his aristocracy.  He wants novels full of exquisite
descriptions of the curls on the back of Anna Karenina's neck and would delete
Levin's discussions about agriculture - hates Gorki,  but it is because
Tolstoy was Gorki, in the sense of a political, social, moral writer,  had the
same concerns and was willing to suspend his vanity and artistry as a writer
to address them, even ponderously, that Tolstoy is Tolstoy and Nabokov is
known as the author of Lolita.   And might not Nabokov's dislike of Dostoevsky
be envy?  Nabokov's less vulgar work about obsession, possession is read by
very few people in deed, whereas even semi-literate teenage boys have been
profoundly moved by Crime and Punishment;  sometimes they even read it.

As in any walk of life, as an artist you can't save your soul and your face at
the same time.  

Mauling my shadow here,

Larissa Shmailo
Sliding Scale Poetry



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