NABOKV-L post 0002319, Mon, 1 Sep 1997 13:48:05 -0700

Re: Did Nabokov like Wallace Stevens? (fwd)
From: Galya Diment <>

This is a message which is a month old but now, I think, I can answer the
question to some degree. There is a letter in the VN archive in Berg with
precisely the same question, addressed to Nabokov by Stanley Edgar Hyman
in 1969. Vera Nabokov responded to Hyman three days later saying that VN
had no opinion of Stevens because he knew his work only "faintly." There
was something in the brevity of the note which made me think that VN was
not sufficiently impressed with what he read to desire to get better
acquainted with the poet's other works.

Galya Diment

On Thu, 31 Jul 1997, Donald Barton Johnson wrote:

> EDITOR's NOTE. I recall that a couple of years ago Abdellah Bouazza called
> my attention to a remarkable "Nabokovian" passage in Steven's poetry.
> -------------------------------------------------------
> From: Rodney Welch <>
> What did Nabokov think of the poet Wallace Stevens? If memory
> serves, the two received awards from the Bollinger Foundation the
> same year, but I've never heard it said what one thought of the other.
> My suspicion is that VN would have had no use for the
> brilliant but emotionally icy poet, but I have no talent for guesswork in
> this area. I still don't see what VN saw in a florid monstrosity like
> Edmund White's "Forgetting Elena," which he not only liked but quite
> lovingly blurbed.
> Rodney Welch
> Columbia, SC