Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0005363, Wed, 12 Jul 2000 17:08:06 -0700

Re: Pnin into Film (fwd)
Let me suggest -- since _Pnin_ is so dear to my heart -- that Lynch's
"strangeness" is totally of a non-Pninian kind -- and, for what it's
worth, I think that even someone like Ethan Coen would be closer in his
sensibility to the material in Pnin than Lynch.

Galya Diment

> From: Paul Sonnenburg <rover@cais.com>
> >Juan Martinez <jmm80625@mail.ucf.edu> speculated,
> > [David] Lynch ... could be fantastic with something more gentle:
> > "Pale Fire"? "Pnin"?
> The Northern Hemisphere's dog days having allowed us the harmless diversion
> of speculating on novels and their bumpy relationship to film, Mr. Martinez's
> nod to _Pnin_ raises the matter of interiority, so often the film maker's
> impenetrable barrier but a sine qua non for Nabokov.
> What a challenge _Pnin_ poses to a sufficiently imaginative director (and
> casting director), and what a splendid opportunity for the right ensemble of
> actors, not to mention an art director worth the title. Nabokov's unsurpassed
> utilization of the visual moment as companion metaphor to deep emotion seems
> almost unavoidably cinematic. Was there, for example, ever better filmic
> material than Pnin's party, ever a more affecting visual/interior moment than
> the broken/not broken punch bowl in the sudsy kitchen sink?
> In their earliest effort, _Shakespeare-wallah_, (c. 1965) James Ivory and
> Ismail Merchant revealed a sensitivity to Nabokovian-like subtlety and visual
> nuance, but I've seen too little film recently to know who might presently be up
> to _Pnin's_ inviting potential. And unfortunately it's too late to cast Lee J.
> Cobb or George C. Scott, but maybe Albert Finney, say, or Anthony Hopkins could
> be persuaded to polish their Russian accent. . . .
> > PS
> Washington, D.C.