Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0004424, Mon, 27 Sep 1999 19:21:08 -0700

Autobiographies and acolytes
It is difficult to read an autobiography of a Nabokovian without listening
for the faintest echo of "Speak, Memory." Bobbie Ann Mason's "Clear
Springs" is a very attractive contribution to the genre, by a fine
novelist, but I could not find anything at all of VN in it. Did anyone
sniff some faint scent of the master I missed?

Samuel Schuman Interim Chancellor and Dean The University of Minnesota,
Morris Morris, MN 56267 schumans@caa.mrs.umn.edu 320-589-6015

EDITOR's COMMENT. I haven't seen Bobbie Ann
Mason's autobiography yet, but, like, Sam, I have often been bemused by
the enormous difference between the work VN and some of his "acolytes."
Bobbie Ann Mason, who wrote a doctoral dissertation (later a book) on VN's
ADA, and novelist Susan Frommberg Schaeffer, who wrote the first American
dissertation on VN, are cases in point. It speaks well of their strength
of character that they were able to find their own, distinct voices after
submersion in VN's prose.