Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Collected interviews …

… Conversations with Vladimir Nabokov - edited by by Robert Golla. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Since the pieces begin with Nabokov's success with Lolita, many of the conversations, especially the earlier ones, focus heavily on that. Aside from the familiar topics about it, it's interesting to see the obvious rivalry between this book and the other big by-a-Russian novel of the day (which also had an unusual publishing history abroad), Dr. Zhivago, a book Nabokov repeatedly bashes. He calls it: "false, melodramatic, badly written" -- even" "vilely written" -- and while he allows: "Pasternak is not a bad poet. But in Zhivago he is vulgar".

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