Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0003186, Mon, 22 Jun 1998 10:26:25 -0700

Barthelme, 1964 (fwd)
From: Juan M Martinez <jmm80625@pegasus.cc.ucf.edu>

Here's a snippet from a wonderful essay by Donald Barthelme, _After
Joyce_, which is probably familiar ground for most of the people in the
list. The thing that struck me was how D.B. made an important difference
between VN and Robbe-Grillet:

"The difficulty here is not, as the critic implies, the writer's
culpability in imagining such a man [in _A Singular Man_], but the
slightly underinspired character of Donleavy's prose, which nevertheless
affords some remarkable passages. Henry Green and Vladimir Nabokov
similarly, in their elaborate mystifications, partake of this tendency,
demonstrating a consciousness of the word as object, of the medium as

"The new French novelists, Butor, Sarraute, Robbe-Grillet, Claude Simon,
Philippe Sollers, have on the other hand succeeded in making objects of
their books without reaping any of the strategic benefits of the
maneuver---a triumph of misplaced intelligence. Their work seems leaden,
self-conscious in the wrong way."

By the way, information on the new _Lolita_ film can be found at




"Speak softly,
drive a Sherman tank.
Laugh hard,
it's a long way to the bank."
They Might Be Giants, _Rhythm Section Want Ad_

---visit Strobe at http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~jmm80625