Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0022151, Tue, 8 Nov 2011 14:25:59 -0200

Re: Nabokov and American "freedom"
Emily Sours: I know there are many misuses of Nabokov, what would he think of this take on his words? http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/10/19/occupy-writers-dot-com/#.TrObgL8fDL4.twitter I find this twisting of words the most interesting:*

Jansy Mello: When, in her posting about American "freedom," Emily Sours questions blogger D.G.Meyers's misuse of Nabokov, she considers [ : - ) ] his "twisting of words the most interesting." Perhaps "interesting" remains too neutral when it's applied to Meyers's word-wringing and thought-mangling contextualizations that justify this Eqwilistic inheritance. Nabokov's propositions my also suffer a sea-change by being drowned in religious and moralistic arguments, as in ( http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Art+and+ardor%3a+the+presence+of+the+divine+in+the+poetry+and+prose+of...-a0253058121 ) "Art and Ardor: The Presence of the Divine in Nabokov's Poetry and Prose," by Clifford R.Garner. The author argues that, althought Nabokov has been grouped with the late 20th century postmodernist writers who express "a post-Darwinian vision of both life and art, devoid of any spiritual dimension," such a label is incorrect because, for Nabokov, not only "art and thought, manner and matter, are inseparable" but his oeuvre is also"indicative of the old-fashioned desire for human value and felt life and potustoronnost--what Nabokov called 'beauty plus pity.' Nabokov's great achievement is to fully realize art alongside ardor." Although Garner's general ideas and conclusions seem agree with what most Nabokovians encounter in his interviews and novels, the manner by which the matter is developed by Garner strikes me as ideologically miguided, flat and devoid of humor and ambiguities.A couple of lines in RLSK serves as an example:"As often was the way with Sebastian Knight he used parody as a kind of springboard for leaping into the highest region of serious emotion. J. L. Coleman has called it 'al clown developing wings, an angel mimicking a tumbler pigeon', and the metaphor seems to me very apt." Fortunately our Nab-L Forum is another expression of American freedom (no quotes here) in which opinions are exchanged as simple opinions to forward learning and discussion.


* Literary Blog : A Useful List of Useful Idiots, by D. G. Myers [10.19.2011]
"In Bend Sinister, Nabokov’s 1947 novel about political tyranny, the philosopher Adam Krug is asked to sign an oath of loyalty to the régime. “Legal documents excepted, and not all of them at that,” he says, “I never have signed, nor ever shall sign, anything not written by myself.” This simple confession of faith in individual expression ought to be on the desk of every working writer. A lot of contemporary American writers, however, believe in something a lot more important. As of this morning, nearly a thousand of them have eagerly signed the latest oath:We, the undersigned writers and all who will join us, support Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement around the world....The list of writers reads like a social register of the current literary elite. A list of the major American writers who refused to sign the oath would be much smaller — not only because there aren’t too many major American writers now working, but also because no one seems to consider a Nabokov-like statement of refusal worth making..."
"Freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of art: there is the only political creed which can unite all writers into a political party. Many prominent American writers have lost interest in freedom, however, and have become obsessed with a world that is divided between rich and poor. Small wonder, then, that more and more readers are losing interest in them...The murderous political tyrant in Nabokov’s Bend Sinister upholds the doctrine of Ekwilism....Krug, an exceptional man, [should]swear allegiance to a political régime founded upon hostility to the exceptional. They demand he submit to a political system dedicated to “a remolding of human individuals in conformity with a well-balanced pattern.”Almost a thousand of the best contemporary writers have now joined the Ekwilist party, eagerly supporting the goals of radical leftist tyranny. It’s good, at least, to have them listed in one place."

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