Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0008699, Fri, 3 Oct 2003 09:48:56 -0700

Fw: Alfred Appel's book in the TLS
EDNOTE. Alfred Appel was (and is) among the first and best American Nabokov scholars.

----- Original Message -----
From: Sergey Karpukhin
To: Vladimir Nabokov Forum
Sent: Friday, October 03, 2003 2:09 AM
Subject: Alfred Appel's book in the TLS

In this week's TLS there is a review of Alfred Appel's "Jazz Modernism" by David Schiff. It can be accessed online at http://www.the-tls.co.uk/this_week/story.asp?story_id=29031. Nabokov and synaesthesia are mentioned in it. Here is a little passage:

Jazz Modernism might be retitled "confessions of a recovering academic modernist". Professor Appel, famed as a Nabokov scholar, herein repents for a lifetime spent explaining Ulysses and Finnegans Wake to the young and restless. It turns out that their resistance to Joyce's arcana (even Nabokov instructed his students to skip the densest chapters) was wiser than their professor's advocacy. Near the beginning of the book, in one of many cross-disciplinary zigzags worthy of Nabokov's Professors Kinbote and Humbert, Appel admits that he misread the basic plot of Ulysses despite years of teaching. Leopold Bloom, Appel finally realizes, is no Ulysses. Distracted by "coprolagnia, masochism, sodomy and anal eroticism", he will never return to normal sexual relations with Molly. The hard-core modernism of Joyce and Eliot similarly remains sterile, perverse and impenetrable - but rhythm may still save the world.

Sergey Karpukhin,