Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0000366, Tue, 8 Nov 1994 12:43:43 -0800

Re: Romantic novel (fwd)
EDITOR'S NOTE. Below is Galya Diment's comment on Seema Kurup's response
to Dieter's Zimmer's query about the meaning of the term "romantic novel"
in John Hollander's early review of LOLITA. Galya is, of course, right in
noting VN's dislike of Don Quixote. I think, however, that Seema Kurup's
proffered definition and example neatly illustrates the problem Dieter
Zimmer is probing. "Romantic novel" is highly ambiguous. Seema Kurup takes
it in the sense of the "romaunce" of which Quixote is a stellar mutation.
A look at the broader context of Hollander oft-quoted remark ("L.....is
the record of N.'s love affair with the romantic novel") includes
references to Swinburne and Poe. Hollander is using the term in the sense
of "Romanticism" (Pushkin, Chateaubriand, Poe, Byron, etc) with its theme
of lusting for the unattainable. Nabokov's passion for the Romantics is
most manifest in ADA, and John Hollander's 1956 perception is very acute.

Forwarded message ---------- From: Galya Diment <galya@u.washington.edu>

Nabokov hated DON QUIXOTE!

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Seema Kurup <SKURUP@KENTVM.KENT.EDU>
> In response to Dieter Zimmer's question regarding the "romantic novel,"
> I offer this brief definition, with one prototype.
> romantic novel- of, having the nature of, characteristic of, characterized
> by idealistic, adventurous, impractical, and/or fanciful thoughts, feelings,
> attitudes, and actions. eg. Cervantes' *Don Quixote*