Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0015384, Thu, 2 Aug 2007 16:15:04 -0300

Re: THOUGHTS: SKB reply to J. Mello Oxford roundup,
and 2 non-sightings
Stan Kelly- Bootle wrote to JM: the hero of Alan Furst's spy novel "Blood of Victory" (Phoenix 2002) is an I. A. Serebin who edits a Russian Literary émigré journal "Harvest" for the IRU ..."the 'Harvest,' it had no Blok, no Nabokov. It had Kacherin and his sugar bun for mama."...PS: One wonders if "Serbin" echoes VN's émigré pen-name "Sirin?"
Next he asked: May I add two sad NON-VN spottings? That is, articles where I fully expected a reference to VN but was disappointed.
When he mentioned the second ( [Juk 20 2007] review of "The Curtain," by Milan Kunders [Faber] ) he observed: Here again, the subject of literary 'artifice' (self-reference, self-repudiation*, and the 'gap between words & deeds'), so close to all Nabokovian hearts, is discussed by the reviewer with examples from Cervantes, Flaubert, Sterne, Kafka, Musil, Brosch, Gambrowicz, et al., and, of course Kundera soi-meme. Yet no VN! Again... (* "Repudiation of artifice is, in other words, an artful ploy, and one that throws up the apparent paradox that the novel's ambition of 'getting into the soul of things' very often proceeds by way of increased contrivance." )

JM: In the first place, before I dwell on S K-B's comments, I'd like to thank Sergei Soloviev's off-list correction of my typo:the name of the author of "Petersburg" is Biely (not Bilely); I was informed that, while in Oxford, I could have taken an "Inspector Morse Tour" ( a Colin Dexter's detective whose adventures I enjoy to read and also to watch them when interpreted by actor John Thaw), since I also enjoy good detective and spy novels: S K-B's indication was therefore a very welcome one.
I'm also glad that he responded to the idea of reporting some NON-VN Sightings ( for example,(a) prolific Umberto Eco, often omits pertinent references to VN; (b) he is absent from many Oxford anthologies.... )
Of particular interest were his comments about literary 'artifice' because I had been wondering about this same point when comparing VN's literary 'artifices' ( that follow "nature's deceits" to dwell on "the enchanters" and on "reality as a mask" ) and Martin Heidegger's words on
"Poetry, Language and Thought" ( particularly in "The Origin of the Work of Art") where he, so it seemed to me, descried the value of 'artifice' in order to reach the fundamental "hupokeimenon".
I hope the now isolated space under [ THOUGHTS] may hold further discussions about this topic?

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