Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001297, Fri, 13 Sep 1996 08:39:42 -0700

Re: Faulkner's birthday visit to John Shade (fwd)
From: Alexander Justice <jahvah@empirenet.com>

>Has anyone (everyone?) noticed William Faulkner among John Shade's
>birthday guests? On page 161 of PALE FIRE (note to line 81), on the day
>after the party, our narrator inspects the library books Sybil is
>preparing to return: "I bent towards them under the incubus of
>curiosity: they were mostly by Mr. Faulkner". On the previous page and
>day (our narrator again), "I saw a world-famous old writer, bent under
>the incubus of literary honors and his own prolific mediocrity, arrive
>in a taxi out of the dim times of yore when Shade and he had been joint
>editors of a little review." Back on page 161, Sybil lists among the
>guests who had to be invited "the fellow whose novels you and John think
>so phony."

Having just read PF, I have to admit VVN got me again -- but he always
does. I have exactly the sort of constitution unsuited to reading him,
which is what makes it so much fun to read him. I am a dull
problem-solver and don't pay very good attention (actually Kinbote was
distracting me, I think). After each novel, I read the relevant section
in Boyd's work, and all the pretty things that went over my head are
brought back for my inspection. What makes VVN so much fun is that he
provokes the desire to do the same thing in one's own little way. This
year of reading his novels has become a little and much-needed
renaissance in my fourth decade of life.

Alexander Justice * jahvah@empirenet.com * Will, California, USA

culture is a curse/
for the second string/
because they pick you first/
based on what you bring
--Imperial Teen