Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0002549, Thu, 13 Nov 1997 14:31:59 -0800

Nabokov on Mr. Greely's Brain (fwd)
Not long ago someone posted a rather malcontent comment on The New
Yorker's tendency to conjure Nabokov once too often. Once (twice
actually) again, for what must be the fourth or fifth time in a row, a
Nabokovian reference in two consecutive issues:

From the November 10 issue's short story, Dybek's _Lunch at the Loyola

"He'd tease here, refer to her as Lolita or Ms. Jailbait, and his voice
would drop and he'd begin a litany of what he'd like to do if she were

From the November 17 Talk of the Town's tribute to Sir Isaiah Berlin:

"Above all, there was pleasure in knowing that the revolutionary scene
of his childhood---that vulgar deus ex machina, as Nabokov called
it---had ended."

That said, a one-sentence editorial: Both pieces (and the Sinatra
feature from a few weeks back) were finely written and I take issue with
the suggestion that writers "drop" Nabokov to make themselves sound
smart or to somehow legitimize their work---maybe they simply enjoy his
works and words (crenellated, iridescent, verdure, etc) dearly. Who



"Speak softly
Drive a Sherman tank,
Laugh hard,
It's a long way to the bank."
---They Might Be Giants, _Rhythm Section Want Ad_

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