Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001098, Wed, 17 Apr 1996 11:21:10 -0700

Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 20:49:44 -0500 (CDT)
From: Donald Harington <dharingt@comp.uark.edu>
To: "David R. Slavitt" <slavitt@mail.med.upenn.edu>

While I admire David Slavitt's candor in his willingness to confess his
problems as a writer, and while I hope that both he and I will shed some
light on the sorry lot of the novelist in the face of "the public's
vulgarity and dumbness," I should like to suggest that we keep our
discussion continually apropos Nabokov, and not stray into arguments on
the merits of other novelists.

When Slavitt attacks Styron, he had better be ready to take off his coat
and put up his dukes. But I'd warn him before the fight begins that
his put-down is a mass of tired cliches that have already been misspoken
by blacks and Jews who don't like Styron messing with their territory.

Let's stick to the subject, shall we? Slavitt is to be commended for
pointing out, rightly in view of our subject, that Nabokov faced and
endured misfortunes and neglect and scoundrelous publishers that make the
combined bad luck of both Slavitt and Harington seem as we've choked on
our silver spoons.