Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000211, Fri, 18 Feb 1994 13:54:41 -0800

Nabokov in the media (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 94 16:54:06 EST
From: "Julian W. Connolly" <jwc4w@darwin.clas.virginia.edu>
To: chtodel@humanitas.ucsb.edu
Subject: Nabokov in the media

In The Washington Post "Book World" section for Sunday,
February 13, there is an article by Francine du Plessix Gray
about her approach to teaching creative writing. She states
that one of the first things she does is to "focus on the
sound-bytes of diction, on the crafting of euphonious and
pellucid phrases." She writes several sentences on the
blackboard to illustrate her points. Now I quote from her
article: "One of them is always taken from Nabokov's memoir of
his youth in pre-Revolutionary Russia, Speak Memory, and goes
as follows: 'She turned on the steps to look back at me before
descending into a jasmine-scented, cricket-mad dusk of a small
train station.'" The other sentence is from Agee. She goes on
to describe some of the qualities of each sentence. For
example, "they each communicate, with eerie immediacy, the
pitch of the author's theme--Nabokov's, the pain of severance
from a society irretrievably doomed. . . . But above all they
captivate us by their vigor and freshness, by their
never-before-seenness ('cricket-mad dusk' . . .)."

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