More on Nabokov’s immigration to America here.
The writer’s job is to get the main character up a tree, and then once they are up there, throw rocks at them.
I can quite understand people wanting to know my writings, but I cannot sympathise with anybody wanting to know me.
Vladimir Nabokov, who “despised the idea of the author as celebrity” (via)
Life magazine has posted a trove of photographs of Vladimir Nabokov in 1959, a year after the first U.S. publication of Lolita. From the photo captions:
Nabokov wrote most of his novels on 3″ x 5″ notecards, keeping blank cards under his pillow for whenever inspiration struck. Seen here: a draft of Lolita.… Near the end of writing Lolita, Nabokov became dissatisfied with the work and tried to burn his notecards. Vera [his wife] stopped him.
Random bits found floating around on the web today:
- At About Last Night, Terry Teachout dug up a great video of Vladimir Nabokov and Lionel Trilling discussing “Lolita.”
- At A Commonplace Blog, critic D.G. Myers names his five best novels of the decade (with no room for Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children — repent, D.G. Myers!).
- At In Character, Joseph Epstein advises writers to make it look easy, even when it isn’t.
- And if Nabokov and Trilling is a bit much on a hot summer day, try this video of new Red Sox outfielder Joey Gathright. Gathright has a decent glove and a noodle bat, but never mind all that. What makes him interesting is that he can jump over cars. I say again: the man can jump over cars.