Когда я прочитал книжку Алекса Бима «Вражда» (Alex Beam, The Feud), я вдруг понял, что в моем неприятии Набокова есть какая-то твердая основа. Оказывается не мне одному не нравится Nabokov и мое неприятие набоковского творчества совсем не уникально. Что может быть приятнее чем почувстовать себя не совсем одиноким.
To know Vladimir Nabokov is not to love him.
When Nabokov died in 1977, The New York Times hailed him as “a giant in the world of literature.” Two of his novels, “Lolita” and “Pale Fire,” landed on the Modern Library’s 1998 list of the best English novels of the 20th century. His legions of fans regard Nabokov’s failure to win a Nobel Prize as one of the great literary travesties of the 20th century.
Only now, 40 years after his death, are some critics daring to suggest that many of his 18 novels are mediocre at best and that his masterpiece, “Lolita,” is a gruesome celebration of pedophile rape. Moreover the cherubic writer known to us from famous Life magazine photo shoots, jauntily brandishing his butterfly net in the Tetons or the Alps, proves to be a nasty piece of work. Distasteful people can do wonderful work — Pablo Picasso was no walk in the park — but their art doesn’t excuse their noxious behavior.