Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0004774, Thu, 17 Feb 2000 15:17:33 -0800

Another take on PF, MARY McCarthy,
& how far can an author go? (fwd)
From: Iann88@aol.com

I finally read Mary McCarthy's PALE FIRE review-article in Encounter.
In the same issue there is a
letter to the editor about an article VN wrote previously on Pushkin and

Hannibal. Dwight McDonnald I think. Funny. Even funnier are the responses
from the Editors and VN. I also fast forwarded to the next issues which
had letters in reply to McCarthy's article, the second of which I didn't
understand at all. This is when Encounter was still a great magazine.

Yes, I am sure all of what McCarthy says is in PF and probably even more she
missed. But I'll be damned if I am going to read a book and need a computer
mind holding all of Western Civ. to relate to a book like that. On that
basis the book with all those equations, is a failure. Worse, just an
academic exercise. Yawn. And I think that's the direction VN went to give
himself some sort of permanent immortality with the academics. Poor choice. I
suppose he took Joyce's words to heart: Finnigans Wake will keep them busy
for centuries! Yep, Cubist paintings.

Oh, in McCarthy's article she brings out the scene in PF when Charles escapes
wearing a red hat and all the other Carlists are wearing red hats too to
facilitate his escape. Same thing happens in Hitchcock's 1959 North by
Northwest when Cary
Grant is disguised as a porter wearing a red hat and he disappears into the
crowd of porters all wearing red hats too!!!! Geez!

Phillip I.