Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0003525, Thu, 10 Dec 1998 19:26:29 -0800

Thomas Ligotti on VN (fwd)
From: "English, Darrin" <English.Darrin@tci.com>

The following is from the Event Horizon website, which hosted an online
chat with the accomplished short-story writer Thomas Ligotti on 3 Dec.

> As for those other writers who influenced me . . . in a number of my early
> stories, such as "Dream of a Mannikin" and "Les Fleurs," I did my best to
> ape the lavish language and maniacal first-person voice of Vladimir
> Nabokov,
> as well as copping his brilliant strategy of using a fantastic narrative
> structure to tell a fantastic story. Nabokov's was a simple idea, really,
> although very few writers before him had employed this very commonsensical
> approach to fantastic fiction. Nabokov conjured a spectral world right
> before a reader's eyes, often, I'm sure, without many readers noticing
> that
> he had done so. Of course there are any number of authors with fancy prose
> styles and intricate, though not necessarily fantastic, narrative
> structures. But Nabokov's works also conveyed to my mind a profound
> perception of a perilous and senseless cosmos upon which art may impose a
> temporary, though ultimately helpless, order. There's a line in Nabokov's
> short novel Pnin that goes, I hope I've got this verbatim: "Harm is the
> norm; doom shall not jam." It's this background of bleakness with a
> foreground of hypnotic artistry that has appealed to me in Nabokov as well
> as such writers as Bruno Schulz, Jorge Luis Borges, William Burroughs, and
> the Austrian novelist Thomas Bernhard.
The complete text of the online chat can be found at:

> http://www.e-horizon.com/eventhorizon/chats/transcripts/120398.html
Darrin English