Monday, March 28, 2011

Vladimir Nabokov - Pale Fire

"If I had had the time and inclination to study it for six weeks straight, I may have pronounced it brilliant, but personally, I don't believe you should have to do that to be able to get the gist of a novel. This book is only for English majors who've been assigned it or perhaps for people with a long commitment to the psychiatric hospital who have nothing but time on their hands."

"Ugh. Tried again. Guess it's genuine. Sorry, but I can't stand to read Navokov. Sad, as I like the classicists."

"I enjoyed the 1000 line poem, but the 200 pages worth of another persons thoughts about the poem is out of hand. On a personal level I would rather be lost in a poem and attempt to understand it on my own than have to endure someone else telling me how I should perceive the poetic language. It is like waking up to someone telling you how to feel today, simply wasted words."

"This is, without a doubt, the most difficult book I've ever read."

"I've decided to abandon more books. Why force myself? However, I do skim to try to be sure I'm not missing something."

"Is Kinbote the fugitive King of Zembla, or not? And, to be rude for a moment, who cares? If Nabokov did not care enough to tell us, but preferred to occupy himself with trivia such as 'word golf,' then one might well guess that this whole entertaining mess was written by Nabokov as a sort of "anti-Lolita" in his empty afternoons ... We have become accustomed to taking Vladimir Nabokov at his own estimation, as some sort of Great Artist. In fact, there is an argument to be made that Nabokov slaved away as a college professor until he hit on the idea of writing a piece of 'artistic' kiddie-porn ('Lolita'). He really raked in the bucks from that idea, and immediately left the United States to live out the rest of his life in a high-class Swiss hotel.

Born an aristo, and died an aristo. Will we still be reading his books in a hundred years?

I don't think so."

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