Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001365, Thu, 24 Oct 1996 16:53:26 -0700

The Extra Is (fwd)
From: Sirin@slip.net

Has anyone ever come across any instance in which VN has exhibited
self-doubt? I consider this to be both an aesthetic and a personal
question. In the first instance, I think of Dostoevski, whose themes of
self-disgust VN never really understood (enough for argument right here, I
think); in the second, I think of the very well-established dynamic (a
picturesque one, traditionally involving drink, drugs, women-- bad prose,
etc.) of self-love/doubt that has afflicted so many writers incapable of
dealing with the "angelic" status that their creativity has afforded them.
I guess another way of asking this is is is, does anyone have anything to
say about how disgustingly capable he seemed to be in dealing with this
really quite troublesome fact of existence? For it is the precise lack of
this incapability, as far as I can tell, that dictates his simultaneous
profundity and inhumanity. Like a statue.