Saturday, January 27, 2007

A style of leveling ...

... or The Politics of Pants. (Hat tip, Scott Stein.)

Sullivan uses Nabokov inventively, quoting from his 1955 novel Lolita to demonstrate how the narrator’s “refined” sensibility is transformed by a whole world of low-end culture that has become—for him—eroticized. The novel’s motels and shopping strips, writes Sullivan, “are the consummate low-culture backdrops for Lolita’s jeans, sneakers, and lollipops.” It’s not just Lolita that Nabokov’s intellectual narrator has fallen for.

I never realized how perceptive Nabokov was in this regard. But this I quite understand: "Elvis actually disliked denim. To him, as to most people from real working-class backgrounds, it was just a reminder of working hard and being poor. The less denim Elvis wore, the happier he was."
It's one reason I am always suspicious of professional working-class types - as well academics bloviating about "the people."

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