Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0005245, Fri, 30 Jun 2000 15:40:15 -0700

Re: VN Bibliography (fwd)
From: Mark Bennett <mab@straussandasher.com>

I've seen references to this article in the group and it sounds very
interesting. For years I've made a habit of picking up old paperback
editions of VN's novels in used bookstores, primarily for the comically
inapposite cover art. There is a Fawcett-Crest (I think) edition of "The
Gift" from the early sixties that has a truly ghastly cover: a murky blue
water color (or charcoal drawing - I must reexamine it) of two languid, and
evidently tormented, lovers who, I suppose, are intended to correspond to
Fyodor and Zina. I've often wonder what VN thought of THAT particular
atrocity. Now, thanks to Mr. Maliszevski, I may be able to find out.

-----Original Message-----
From: D. Barton Johnson [mailto:chtodel@GTE.net]
Sent: Friday, June 30, 2000 2:41 PM
Subject: VN Bibliography

1) I notice that Daedalus books (see their WWW page) is offering the
hardback of Brain Boyd's "Vladimir Nabokov: the American Years" at $14.98.

2) I have, at long last, been able to read Paul Maliszevski's article
"Paperback Nabokov" in the elegant and elusive journal _McSweeney's
Quarterly_ #4 (Late Winter 2000). Primarily devoted to the cover art of
paperback editions of Nabokov's novels (in several languages), the essay
discusses Nabokov's life-long (and often-losing) battle for accurate and
tasteful cover illustrations. It gathers together most of VN's comments on
his covers and beautifully reproduces many of them in color. Maliszewski
links VN's attitude toward his cover art to his general aesthetic approach.
Beyond this, he has sought out and interviewed several of the artists who
did the work (including Dmitri Nabokov). It is a fascinating glimpse of the
working conditions and attitudes of the artists during the 50's and into
the 70's.