Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0020815, Sat, 2 Oct 2010 10:51:33 -0300

Fw: [NABOKOV-L] Desultory finds in Thirlwell. & one recondite
After I bought a multifaceted (or multifacetious!) book yesterday: "Politica" by Adam Thirlwell, I realized that his name sounded familiar. Indeed, he was mentioned by the Nab-List last May (cf.www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/.../poets-head-platter/), and then Carolyn Kunin posted his article on "Verses and Versions."

I tried to learn more about Thirlwell in the internet and found an oldish, off-hand Nab-sighting, with a plausible whiff of VN's Camera Obscura, in an article by Boyd Tonkin, written in August 14,2010: "Yet the image of Thirlwell as a gilded gadfly never quite fitted the bill. Miss Herbert abounds with hosannahs for mischief-makers who bravely insisted on laughter in the dark. It speaks up for a pantheon of exiles and dissenters, profound jokers who shake the chains of a tyrannous history. The book's "immature" aesthetics resolve into an ethics "which teaches respect for the minor, the overlooked, the unsure". These underdogs laugh like hyenas.The Escape will, again, fail to please the literary puritans, but the novel - and its protagonist - has a more visibly beating heart....www.independent.co.uk > ... > Books > Feature.

So I was convinced that there was more Nabokov in Thirlwell than I had given him credit for. And... yes! An old review at www.guardian.co.uk/.../referenceandlanguages.gustaveflaubert - is worth examining, in connectionto Thirlwell's book "The delighted states" and its translation of Nabokov's short-story "Mademoiselle O," and various other translatory proposals, with contrasting reviews (Cf. www.rochester.edu/College/.../index.php?id=1164 ; www.harpers.org/archive/2008/07/hbc-90003299 - ; www.observer.com/.../our-critics-tip-sheet-current-reading-kafka-flaubert-and-nabokov-come-out-play -; www.bookforum.com/inprint/015_02/2467 ; www.spectator.co.uk > Book Club ; sebald.wordpress.com/category/adam-thirlwell/ ; www.nytimes.com/2008/06/.../18eder.html? )

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