Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001384, Mon, 28 Oct 1996 10:23:56 -0700

a too-cautious materialism (fwd)
From: Dustin Pascoe <dcpasc0@service1.uky.edu>

I appreciate the responses to my earlier query about VN and materialism, and
I will certainly look up Larmour's collection when I can. The near
"apology" I offered for my desire to apply Jameson to Nabokov is really my
way of saying that I know I'm hardly the first person to think of doing
this, and my question is not designed to bring everyone's attention to what
I have discovered, but only to ask why it hasn't been done more often.
Further, i don't want to come on the list braying about Marxism,
particularly since so many critics seem to have adverse reactions to it; I
don't want to offend anyone by suggesting that their line of criticism has
somehow been deficient. Obviously, I _do_ believe that ideology is
all-pervasive, and, in the cosmic scheme of things, may be more useful than
fatidic numbers (which, of course, presumes that criticism has, or should
have, some use value beyond an increased appreciation of the local text),
and I was attempting to fend off in advance objections about the irrelevance
of ideology to Nabokov -- in too confused a fashion, it appears. I
mentioned that I liked Nabokov because to some violating an author's wishes
or the major trends of criticism signals a desire to degrade or explode an
author -- "Look, his ideology is bad, so he must be banished" yaddah,
yaddah, yaddah. I want Nabokov to be around for years and years (hence my
question about "saving" Lolita from the pop culture machine), and thought
that precautionary statement necessary. Wrong again, I see.
It is nice to see that there is a larger body of criticism out there than I
had known about, though, and any other thoughts would also be taken to
critical heart.

Dustin C. Pascoe