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From: "Timothy Reilly" 
Subject: (urth) Re: Digest from  urth@urth.net
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 09:51:27 +1000

Re Nabokov, I also greatly regret that I do not enjoy his prose as much as
I'd like, given he is so admired by Wolfe, Martin Amis and other writers I
greatly admire.  Lolita I finished, but have had false starts on others (I
may try again with Pale Fire now).

The problem for me with Nabokov is that the personality revealed by the
prose always sounds like such a wanker, if you'll all pardon the phrase.  A
natural aristocrat so proud of his verbal skills and convinced of his
unquestionable superiority that any genuine human feeling seems buried.
Kingsley and Martin Amis had an argument along these lines about Lolita
(recounted in the latter's autobiographical Experience), with the former
essentially saying that Humbert's ultimate passage of regret near the end of
the novel was just a smokescreen to make it appear Nabokov really cares,
when he doesn't.  I confess I agree.



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