Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0002312, Sun, 31 Aug 1997 14:37:46 -0700

Lunatic esthetics (fwd)
To: nabokv-l@UCSBVM.ucsb.edu
Subject: Lunatic esthetics

From: Jay Livingston <LIVINGSTON@saturn.montclair.edu>

Robert Polito, reviewing a biography of Frederick Exley in the Sunday
N.Y. Times:

Yet Frederick Exley was also one of the most cunning stylists, at once
hard-boiled and mandarin, in recent fiction. His trilogy ("A Fan's Notes" was
subtitled "A Fictional Memoir") looms behind the current memoir vogue,
although Exley's own confessions of impotence and failure flaunted no redemptive or
therapeutic aspirations but tilted more toward the fantastic self-displays of
the lunatic esthetics of his beloved Vladimir Nabokov.

Anybody care to comment? I can't even figure out what the final clause
means. Apparently Polito thinks N's esthetics are lunatic, but whose
self-displays is he talking about. What is a self-display of esthetics, anyway?
Maybe some native speaker of English can help interpret this sentence.

Jay Livingston