NABOKV-L post 0003430, Wed, 14 Oct 1998 17:40:31 -0700

Re: DN's Legal Challenge (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------

>From Galya Diment <>

It's very refreshing to read Chris J. Magyar's comment with which
I totally agree. Dmitri Nabokov appears to have a rather visceral dislike
for Ms.
Pera, as people who followed the earlier exchanges on the topic may
remember. Her writing may be quite bad but the quality of her work is
irrelevant and should be of no concern to anyone worried about Nabokov's
stature or reputation. There are inferior variations on the theme of
Joyce's _Ulysses_ which borrow Bloom as a character. Yet, last I
checked, Joyce's stature is still intact, and since no one drew people's
attention to those works by well-publicized lawsuits, very few people
outside of the regular Joyce crowd probably know of their existence. As
someone already pointed out, Joyce himself could have been accused of
doing to Homer what Ms. Pera is supposedly doing to Nabokov. Fortunately
for Joyce, however, Homer's estate was out of existence by then...

I happen to think that the lawsuit, while entertaining, does much
harm to the notion and principle of artistic freedom. After all, Pera is
not pretending Nabokov's work is hers -- she uses it merely as a fodder.
Published works are copyrighted but their "ideas" exist in public domain.
It is the "idea" of Lolita and her life that she is borrowing here, and
that, I believe, is and should be both legitimate and legal. It would have
helped, of course, if she were a better writer, but, in the eyes of the
law, all writers are equal. That's why we have critics -- and it is in
their court that this controversy should have been settled.

Galya Diment