Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000322, Thu, 18 Aug 1994 15:08:58 -0700

RJ:Chance response (fwd)
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is author Roy Johnson's response to Jeff
Edmunds' comment re Johson's analysis of the VN short story "A Matter of

"A Matter of Chance"

Jeff Edmunds writes that he finds the story "the kind of belaboured
and over-obvious exposition the mature Nabokov would certainly have
disdained." Two brief points in reply.

1. Well, it may not be the most accomplished story VN ever wrote, but
that is one of my arguments - that he sharpened his creative skills
with these early pieces. But I repeat that it's also not a bad effort
for such a young writer.

2. VN retranslated these early stories as a mature writer - so *he*
obviously did not feel like disdaining his youthful work.

Jeff also points out that "the hero of 'Chance' is Luzhin's precursor
not only in name but also in his calculating "every little detail" of
his death, "as if he were composing a chess problem." I wonder if VN
slipped in this reference during the rewrite? Is anyone in a position to
check the original?

Roy Johnson