Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001533, Mon, 9 Dec 1996 15:58:57 -0800

Re: gesticulating Dostoyevsky (fwd)
EDITOR'S NOTE. In partial answer to Dustin Pascoe's original question--so
far as I recall VN didn't get around to editing his lecture notes fro
publication so I doubt the "gesticulating Dostoevsky" is a late
interpolation. AS to whether the students would recognize the dig, it
depends on the students. Most upper division hanumaties students will
have read some Dostoevsky and some of them might well note his hysterical
tone. And VN may well have tossed in Dostoevsky's cracks earlier in the
From: MS <sexson@english.montana.edu>

>Nabokov often makes fun of Dostoevsky throughout his writing, referring to
>him as "old Dusty" and maligning his melodramatic obsession with the theme
>of redemption through suffering. VN wants his students to see FD as a
>slightly deranged figure of fun. --MS

From: dcpasc0@service1.uky.edu
>I have a question about something from *Lectures on Literature*,
>specifically the *Bleak House* section. When N says (something very much
>like [I don't have the text on me]) "Lady Dedlock is redeemed through
>suffering, and Dostoyevsky is seen wildly gesticulating in the background"
>did he expect his students to get this allusion? Had he already taught FMD,
>so they would understand the context? Did he actually _say_ it? The notes
>were in some intermediate on-the-way-to-the-publisher state, right? So was
>that line the kind of thing added only later for the reading audience? I
>know that N didn't exactly need for his audience to "get" all of his jokes,
>but his novels are one thing, and I wondered what he imagined his students
>were capable of.
>Dustin C. Pascoe
>University of Kentucky