Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001144, Wed, 5 Jun 1996 12:42:25 -0700

VN Bibliography
EDITOR'S NOTE. Recent NABOKV-L subscriptions range from Ultima Thule (aka
Iceland) to Argentina, Bulgaria...(New) Zealand), and now Malaysia where
Amir Muhammad reports the publication of his essay _"Lolita" 40 years
Later_ which he describes as "a chatty journalistic piece, full of
gratuitous wordplay, "which sought to introduce the book to a general
It began like this:

"Yesterday's succes de scandale has a sneaky way of turning into today's
set text; artistic validation at last, or death by deification? It's
instructive, and not a little sobering, to read through some of the novels
that were in their original incarnations either burned, bowdlerized or
Banned In Boston. It's instructive to see how many of them transcended
their initial shock value to become canonical masterpieces, to the extent
that we reserve our retrospective scorn not for the books themselves, but
the reactionary forces that tried to suppress them. It's sobering...

(it goes on, and concludes with):

So experience the book before the cinematic travesty comes out. Swoon in
the wake of its language. Let its savagery, humour and pathos teach you
the meaning of (to use another Nabokov title) laughter in the dark. Unlock
your responses to its grace, tenderness and celebration of impossible
love. And lock up your daughters."

Here in Malaysia we get Nabokovs in Penguins, which means that
each book cover is adorned with some garish oil painting. Last year a
visiting Russian scholar (can't remember his name) gave a talk at
Universiti Malaya on VN's poetry.