Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000183, Thu, 13 Jan 1994 16:31:29 -0800

Re: Recommended reading (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 1994 18:46 EST
From: John Lavagnino <LAV@BRANDEIS.bitnet>
Subject: Re: Recommended reading

I certainly endorse the recommendation of Steven Millhauser. Little
Kingdoms is the only book of his I haven't read, but all the others are
excellent, and they have Nabokov's combination of accurate observation
and precise expression.

And, in some of his works, the same interest in new ways of writing
fiction: the pseudo-biography of his first novel, Edwin Mullhouse, is no
doubt the best-known example, but it's not the only one. That's an
interest that was shared by the French novelist Georges Perec
(1936-1982), but Perec was less of a stylist, I feel, and where
Nabokov's innovations were all made for expressive purposes, there is an
element of experiment for its own sake in Perec that you never see in
Nabokov. (Perec was interested in Nabokov, though: see the index to his
novel La vie mode d'emploi.)

John Lavagnino, Brandeis University