NABOKV-L post 0001474, Thu, 21 Nov 1996 15:04:43 -0800

VN & Self-doubt
From: (Admin Frick S -- MGM/UA Inc - Santa Monica )
I think Richard Gilinsky may have misunderstood ""'s
question, or perhaps the motivation behind it. I, too, find
Nabokov's opinions (not his fiction) fascinatingly definite.
Nabokov routinely states his interpretations of phenomena (often
convincingly) as fact. This boils down to a lingual finality, to
some extent, evidenced by his failure to employ any hedges or tags
to dilute the force of a statement. But beyond the supremely
"factual" verbal structure, there lurks the mystique of a diamond
brain, a persona that acts as though it were born with "strong
opinions," and a personality that rarely admits confusion or
uncertainty unless discussing the indefiniteness of fiction. Mr.
Gilinisky's argument that our knowing facts about an author or
artist does not (or would he say should not?) affect our
appreciation for the finished object is both old hat and beside
the point. Many (I would venture most) of us who subscribe to
this list are at least as fascinated with Nabokov the individual
as we are in awe of his prose. I personally thing Nabokov strove
to cultivate a persona which appeared simultaneously to be both
infallible and inscrutable. Shouldn't we, on principle, shine the
spotlight, even if just for fun?

Stephen Frick