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Saturday, 30 November 2013

Re: Nabokov the master Nabokov the monster; Nabokov and Faulkner

Having reread my own post "Nabokov the master Nabokov the monster" (21/7/2013) I feel quite embarrassed. 
That entry did him a huge disservice, especially when I also reread "A girl about whom we know (almost) nothing" (referring to Lolita, or Dolores Haze) and ""Lolita": from Vladimir Nabokov to Stanley Kubrick", and realise that, while the Nabokov novel to which I connect the most is "The real life of Sebastian Knight", I also love "Lolita". On the 1 hand I esteem it and recognise it as a masterpiece, my mind was blown away by what a writer could do with language and how Nabokov stepped into the mind of paedophile. On the other hand I love it on a personal level, which wasn't expected, particularly when coming to the last chapters and in the end, I almost cried for Dolores. 
It is true that Nabokov's both a master and a monster. It is true that his language's sophisticated and difficult and not very accessible. But that's something he and Faulkner had in common- they had their own styles and did what they did without underestimating their readers. One cannot say that they didn't care about, or deliberately tried to perplex readers. Instead of simplifying their works, instead of stooping, Nabokov and Faulkner challenged their readers and elevated them, as long as the readers are not afraid of challenges. Instead of coming to readers, all kinds of readers, they stayed where they were and invited readers to come to them.
Having read and loved 2 novels by each author I comfortably declare myself to be Faulkner fan but hesitate to call myself a Nabokov fan, and in the future I'm more likely to be a Faulkner aficionado, but I should check out Nabokov's other works (if there's anything I should avoid, it's his Russian novels translated into English, because I believe much of the beauty and magic of his language is lost in translation, even when he collaborated with the translator). 
For the time being there's nothing else I wish to say.

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