Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0005213, Mon, 26 Jun 2000 09:46:35 -0700

Re: Nab Forum-- NYTimes Forum Select Boyd's Pale Fire (fwd)
From: Mark Bennett <mab@straussandasher.com>

For what its worth, I must disagree. "Quirky" as it is defined in most
dictionaries may seem an appropriate, and even complimentary, adjective to
apply to V.N. and his works, but as the word is used in the day-to-day
world, particularly as it is used in literary journalism, it carries a
condescending and dismissive meaning which I would not apply to V.N. or any
of his novels. Calling a book "quirky" suggests it is odd in an obvious,
affected manner and definitely second-rate; it does not suggest that the
book is original, complex, and unique. Rabelais, Gogol, Joyce, and Beckett,
are not "quirky"; Tom Robbins is "quirky," Kurt Vonnegut is "quirky,"
perhaps some of Anthony Burgess' novels could be described as "quirky." I
don't think "Pale Fire," or "The Defense," or "The Gift," or even "Ada"
could, or should, be described as "quirky." I doubt if Boyd's new book is

-----Original Message-----
From: Galya Diment [mailto:galya@u.washington.edu]
Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2000 2:25 PM
Subject: Re: Nab Forum-- NYTimes Forum Select Boyd's Pale Fire (fwd)

From: Iann88@aol.com

I certainly agree that Nabokov was quirky, to say the least, and that the
word is a compliment. So many of N's books are so unclassifiable that, in
fact, quirky is the best word for them.

Phillip Iannarelli
Cleveland, Ohio