Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001268, Fri, 6 Sep 1996 16:49:31 -0700

Re: call for proposals re VN & Music (fwd)
From: Galya Diment <galya@u.washington.edu>

VN and Music, of all things? But he was much more sympathetic to painting,
as another artistic medium, than he ever was to music. If we are to
believe him -- and why should he lie in this particular instance since
it's not really flattering at all? -- he didn't care for music, and
thus was a "freak" in his own family, which was musically inclined (as
were, apparently his wife and his son.) Am I missing something? Can one
really discern musical influences in someone who apparently did not treat
music as anything but a background noise and hated jazz with an almost
incomprehensible vehemence? Sure his prose was "musical" at times, but I
think it may be a mistake to confuse "prose musicality" with "music
musicality." One can have a good ear for one, I believe, and, at the same
time, a poor one for the other. I think the premise of the series is very
sound, and everything it says about modernism is quite accurate, but it
does not mean -- does it? -- that every modernist was affected equally by
other media. Joyce and music, definitely. Pound and music, absolutely.
Nabokov and music? I doubt it...

Galya Diment
University of Washington.