Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0008872, Thu, 6 Nov 2003 18:46:08 -0800

Fw: QUERY: "a fake from beginning to end". VN & Franz Werfel.
Bellino reponds to Naiman
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kenny, Glenn" <gkenny@hfmus.com>

> Kudos indeed to Mary Bellino-beyond the lively exchange of ideas and such,
> it's discoveries like these that make this discussion group so worthwhile.
> And yes, the movie version did star a very moony-eyed Jennifer Jones, and
> was directed by Henry King, whose "Tol'able David" is considered a
> of the silent era; its screenwriter was George Seaton, original radio
> of the Lone Ranger and future director of the Arthur Hailey adaptation
> "Airport"....and the movie is now available in a rather beautifully
> DVD package. Too bad the movie is pretty much turgid as hell.
> in many post WWII Catholic households, the pic is discussed with the
> reverence of a holy relic....
> GK
> While I'm here, can I ask one thing? I know DN is putting the poems from
> "Poems and Problems" into a collection of DN poetry, but what is to become
> of the chess problems? I so did love the unique form of that book when I
> first encountered it....
> -----Original Message-----
> From: D. Barton Johnson
> Sent: 11/6/03 8:05 PM
> Subject: Fw: QUERY: "a fake from beginning to end". VN & Franz Werfel.
> Bellino reponds to Naiman
> lines) ----------------------- Original Message -----
> From: "Mary Bellino" <iambe@rcn.com>
> To: "Vladimir Nabokov Forum" <NABOKV-L@listserv.ucsb.edu>
> Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2003 2:33 PM
> Subject: Re: QUERY: "a fake from beginning to end"
> > A little detective work turns it up: the book is The Song of
> > Bernadette by Franz Werfel, a huge bestseller in 1942 and
> > 1943, and still in print. It was also of course made into a
> > movie.
> >
> > The ad Nabokov refers to in his discussion of poshlost'
> > (Nikolai Gogol 68-69) ran in the NY Times on August 9, 1942,
> > and perhaps also later (and of course possibly in other
> > newspapers too; Nabokov might have been looking at a Boston
> > paper). The quotes VN gives are verbatim, and there are
> > many, many more along the same lines.
> >
> > What in particular roused Nabov's ire about The Song of
> > Bernadette and its blurb-writers is another question. 1942
> > was a dim year for bestsellers; other possible contenders
> > for the Nabokovian lash include The Robe by Lloyd Douglas
> > and The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck. Maybe it was the
> > "whole page ad" itself; prior to the success of Lolita
> > Nabokov was lucky if he got a small text ad. Perhaps he was
> > trying to plant a seed in James Laughlin's mind about a big
> > ad campaign for Nikolai Gogol.
> -----------------------------------------
> EDNOTE. A nice piece of detective work by Mary Bellino, classicist and
> Associate Editor of NABOKOV STUDIES. I seem to recall VN also makes a
> snide, semi-coded reference to Mr. Werfel in Bend Sinister. It is is
> also
> my very hazy recollection that Werfel, a German Jewish refugee who made
> it
> to Hollywood, wrote part of "Bernadette" while staying at the Biltmore
> Hotel here in Santa Barbara. Didn't Jennifer Jones play B. in the film?
> (Or
> maybe it was "Jakobowski and the Colonel", a comic novel that was turned
> into a movie with Danny Kaye, that was written in Santa Barbara.)
> Werfel
> escaped Hitler's invasion of France by fleeing afoot over the
> mountainous
> border and stayed at Lourdes en route. He vowed to write B. if he
> escaped.
> All from my memory. Hence unchecked and suspect.