Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001578, Sun, 29 Dec 1996 11:47:55 -0800

VN short stories review (fwd)
From: Alexander Justice <jahvah@empirenet.com>

The LA Times is re-reviewing the "Best Books of 1996" today
Sunday, December 29, 1996


THE STORIES OF VLADIMIR NABOKOV Edited and translated by Dmitri Nabokov;
Alfred A. Knopf: 659 pp., $35


=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0These 65 stories by Vladimir Nabokov, which his son gathered=
together in
one volume for the first time, bring the reader closer to [his] magic.
Happiness is infectious--everyone who reads this book will feel it. Even
the saddest, most tragic stories are written so that the reader is left
with the distinct foretaste of happiness, as if happiness were the genuine
lining, the inside of being, which shines through the gloomy patchwork of
=09Nabokov might be considered "lucky." He escaped death in both the
Russian revolution and World War II, was a successful writer and had a happ=
family life. But it is really we, his readers, who are the lucky ones.
Ideally, he requires the attention of a gourmet reader, a picky connoisseur=
a potential equal. Those who value only literary fast food will not go away
hungry, but will be left with a vague feeling of dissatisfaction--as if
they have swallowed a dish whole, without tasting it.
=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0The translation of almost all the Russian stories in this co=
except for the new 13, are "the fruit of cloudless collaboration between
father and son," as Dmitri Nabokov writes in his introduction, but "the
father had authorial license to alter his own texts in their translated
form." For the bilingual reader, there's an additional pleasure--to see
how marvelously the Russian original shines through the translation. Those
who know Nabokov the novelist and have forgotten that Nabokov the story
writer exists now have a precious gift in their hands.

Alexander Justice * jahvah@empirenet.com * Redlands, California, USA

"...the counterculture has become a wholly owned subsidiary of
the establishment." -- Brian Eno