Thursday, September 5, 2013
Nabokov's Lecture on Proust
I was reminded what a joy it is to read concise but elegant meditations on fiction. Most criticism, especially most post-modern criticism, is (for someone like me- ie., interested but not terribly invested) a labor. Too much "grounding" of the work in tracts of philosophy and pseudo-psychoanalysis leaves the book complete untethered from the reading experience.
One thing I like about Nabokov's lectures is his willing to make sweeping assertions and then back them up with anecdotes from the novel in question. I think that if only someone had handed me his lectures in high school or as an undergrad and told me, "This is how you're supposed to write," then I might have been a far more successful student.