NABOKV-L post 0002310, Thu, 28 Aug 1997 08:02:35 -0700

Re: VN & jazz (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Juan Martinez <>

_Strong Opinions_ left me with pretty much the same opinion, but Nabokov
has cheerfully confessed to having a tin ear as far as music is
concerned (certainly not for prose!). It is my understanding that he
never gave jazz or pop music much thought---though he does play around
with a Cole Porter song somewhere in _S.O._ ("It's All Right With Me" I

Humbert Humbert dismisses Lolita's taste in tunes ("sweet jazz") early
on in the second part, I think---whether author and character share the
same disdain is open to debate. Then there was that line in _S.O._
about abhorring "cruelty, stupidity, and soft music".

I don't know if this helps or not, but there it is.


Juan Martinez

>From reading Strong Opinions, I get the impression that Nabokov totally
>hates jazz. Does anybody know of a source where he talks precisely
>his jazz dislike, reasoning, etc.,? I would like to know whether he
>explains this antagonism precisely or if he's just somehow prejudiced
>no good reason (seems unlikely). I'm also interested in other V.N.
>opinions on music besides Strong Opinions (where he admits that music
>isn't something he appreciates as well as visual art (or something like
>that with the stuff about different modes of perception for
>visual/auditory/reading art)).
>Kelvin Lu