Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0011789, Wed, 7 Sep 2005 19:57:17 -0700

Dolinin response to to Shapiro re "Nabokov as a Russian Writer"
in the Cambridge Compaanion to Vladimir Nabokov"
EDNOTE. Alexander Dolinin is the editor of the Symposium edition of Nabokov's collected works and the author of innumerable articles about VN and other writers. He teaches at the University of Wisconsin.

----- Original Message -----
From: dolinin

Mr. Shapiro's strange attack betrays an ardent but naive mind that reads tropes literally and takes every argument for argumentum ad hominem. I am afraid that for a professor of literature, it is a liability. The more sophisticated reader, I hope, would easily understand that in my essay I don't discuss Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov's personal problems, tragedies, challenges and choices. What interests me is the "model author" or, better, two "model authors" that happened to be named "Sirin" and "Nabokov," two differently constructed personae, and their strategies in the changing literary field (to use Bourdieu's term). I do question the Nabokov myth but not Nabokov's genius and integrity, nor "achievements of Nabokov scholarship." I am sorry for Mr. Shapiro who is still haunted by ghosts of the "infamous Soviet journalistic lingo" but at the same time cries hard upon a first sign of demythologization, calling me and my piece resentful, virulent, malevolent, slanderous, deceitful, disgraceful, cruel and truth-bending. If it is not a Soviet-style denunciation, I don't know what is.

Alexander Dolinin