From: "Timothy Reilly"
Subject: (urth) Re: Digest from email@example.com 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. Tim --