Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0005548, Tue, 17 Oct 2000 10:53:12 -0700

Fw: NABOKOV & Saul Bellow
lines) ------------------
I haven't read Raphael's review of Atlas's biography of Bellow; but as
someone familiar with both Nabokov's and Bellow's fiction, I find
Raphael's contention that HERZOG is a reworking of PNIN preposterous.
Would he similarly find GREAT EXPECTATIONS to be a reworking of MACBETH
because Dickens's lawyer, Mr. Jaggers, shares with Lady M an obsession
with hand-washing?
Only someone in mad pursuit of resemblances where others detect
difference (I'm loosely quoting from VN here) could possibly find more
than a trivial trace of resemblance between the language, conception,
characters, plot, psychology--let alone epistemology--constituting
these two radically different forms of novel-writing.
Ellen Pifer
> On Mon, 16 Oct 2000, D. Barton Johnson wrote:
> > Th L.A. Times Book Review (Oct. 15, 2000, pp. 2-3) has a scathing review
> > James Atlas' _Bellow A Biography_ . British man-of-letters, Frederic
> > Raphael, who dislikes Bellow's work almost as much as he dislikes Atlas'
> > bio, concludes :
> >
> > "Atlas' anthology of received opinion is as wanting in insight as it is
> > malice. He ... never remarks the HERZOG is, to a marked degree, a remake
> > Nabokov's PNIN (which writers express mutual antipathy, they are always
> > likely to have similarities,)...
> >