Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001437, Fri, 15 Nov 1996 10:53:19 -0800

Re: Introduction to VN for early teens (fwd)

I would second the recommendation that "Signs and Symbols" would be a good
work to suggest to a young adolescent--in part because, in addition to
its aesthetic merits, it's about parents and children. In my experience
in teaching late adolescents (17 and 18-year old college students,
among others), I find that still-cognitively-developing readers like to
be able to "relate to" literary texts; I'm sure other teachers have
encountered this phenomenon. Thus, texts about children and/or about
adolescence or coming-of-age seem to be of special interest to such
readers. I also might suggest "Cloud, Castle, Lake," since your son
is interested in science fiction, and this story has some sf elements.
If Lolita is too much (in all sorts of ways), I wonder how "The Enchanter"
might work, or even just the sections of "Speak, Memory" about adolescent
love, etc. What younger readers might like will, of course, depend on their
own interests, proclivities, tastes, etc. I think I first read Nabokov--
LOLITA, as I recall--in my very late teens and immediately thrilled to the
prose. But I probably wouldn't have at 13 or 15. Marilyn Edelstein,
English, Santa Clara U, Santa Clara CA