Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0021033, Mon, 6 Dec 2010 20:22:19 -0800

query; music and Nabokov


Been listening to Richard Strauss, reading about him, and he reminds me
of Nabokov. Same sense of humor, interesting letters, full-term
marriage, hair-unfriendly forehead and an insistence on avoiding easy
aesthetic categories. For example, this Q and A from a press conference
with Strauss has a Nabakovian ring:

“What do you think of the American school of composers?”
“There aren’t any schools; there are only talents and geniuses.”

Strauss was a great musician who also loved writing. Nabokov was a
great writer who it seems to me doesn’t display much interest in music,
surprisingly for a father whose son became an opera singer (maybe
something Nabokov has in common with Michael Corleone).

The only significant reference to music I can think of offhand is the
aversion to jazz by his surrogate John Shade. Anyway, my query: is
music a major factor in Nabokov’s work?

All the best,

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