Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001214, Thu, 15 Aug 1996 10:59:00 -0700

Appel & Nabokov (fwd)
From: Bo Brock <bo@factory.net>

I was a student of Alfred Appel's at Northwestern, and he recommended the
Plummer video with the caveat that while the actor captured Nabokov's
attitude, he failed to translate the strength of the lectures to film.
After watching the video a couple times, I concur in spades: amusing but

I suspect that Nabokov would have failed similarly in his attempt to move
his lectures to audio-only courses on record, as was his burning desire for
years. Appel claimed that you really had to see Nabokov and appreciate his
physical presence in order to get the most out of his lectures. (The same
could be said for Appel, by the way, though for different reasons.)

As Ryan Asmussen said, Appel told me that he was disappointed in Ada and
thought that Nabokov stretched a bit, as Joyce clearly did with Finnegan's
Wake. When Nabokov heard that, he appeared "crestfallen"--he had always
hoped that Ada would be his crowning achievement in the eyes of his critics
(in terms of fiction...I get the sense he always had the softest spot for
Speak, Memory).

Bo Brock

digital -- bo@factory.net
analog -- 415 375 0424
physical -- 12 W Bellevue Ave #2
San Mateo CA 94402