BOOK Look at the Harleuins

PDF ↠ BOOK Look at the Harleuins FREE ☆ HORTICULTURETRADER ß ❰Reading❯ ➶ Look at the Harleuins Author Vladimir Nabokov – Horticulturetrader.co.uk A dying man cautiously unravels the mysteries of memory and creation Vadim is a Russian emigre who like Nabokov is a novelist poet and crIth his creator as he reconstructs the images of his past from young love to his serious illne The two star rating here is disingenuous I enjoyed reading this a lot than I enjoyed reading most of the two star books on my shelf Nonetheless than two stars wouldn't seem right Here's whySaul Maloff concludes his review of LATH thus But novels are not composed of beautiful sentences Occasionally perhaps especially when he has stunned us with his performance in sentence after sentence we long for a huge lumbering sweating grunting workhorse of a sentence that will ploddingly perfom the brute labor of bearing its terrible necessary burden from here to there But of course getting there is not the point of Vadim's LATH's narrator's novel; the point lies in the elaboration of fantastic fugal designs gorgeous patterns and textures all with contemptuous grace and virtuosity Such art is in the essence and by disdainful intention decadent flung in the faces of the facetious criticules in the Sunday papers who charge him with aristocratic obscurity Nabokov is our great decadent our reigning mandarin and eccentric a supreme determinedly minor artist whom major ones might well envy while criticules continue to carp and gnash the stubs of their teeth Here's the Nabokov problem in a nutshell how to suare his determinedly minor nature with the apparently major ambition and arguably uality of much of his work On one side there's Nabokov the nerd the pedant the crank the funny little man mandarin and eccentric who insists on reminding us again and again of his funny little obsessions his chess problems his distaste for Freud and bafflingly Einstein his vague mystical theories of time and space his opinions about translation etc On the other side there's Nabokov the great novelist the guy who wrote Lolita which might well be the prototypical Great Modern Novel Nabokov the nerd says that morality does not concern him; Nabokov the great novelist writes the perfect too perfect subject matter for undergraduate essays on morality and irony I don't mean that derisively Nabokov the great novelist plucks the heartstrings with practically uneualled virtuosity; Nabokov the nerd when confronted denies any responsibility for his double's behavior and warms up that old very old very tedious lecture on how it's not the heart that is affected by great literature and not the brain either but the spine Both sides major and minor are present in various mixtures and dialectical arrangements in all his work though the minor side dominates in the interviews and essays which confuses matters greatly For me just speaking personally the appeal of the Nabokov brand lies not in either side but precisely in the mottled mixture of the two the music made by the interleaving of major and minor The great novelist brings in all his heavy weaponry but just as his glorious gun show is really getting started the deafening sound of the shots vanishes and is replaced by the uiet smug little voice of the nerd telling you about his latest chess move about a butterfly that pretends to be another butterfly about bad translations of Eugene Onegin Soaring passages run aground caught in sudden unexpected eddies of arcana This isn't a defect the fun is precisely in seeing someone so very good get away with so much mischief The nerd conuers the literary world and puts up banners everywhere reminding people of his fiddly obsessions The reader smiles and wants to say if you can't beat him join him One can certainly imagine less endearing world conuerorsFor me the height of this act is the very long and odd Ada the simultaneous climax given the novel in uestion the innuendo is not gratuitous of the major and minor Nabokovs It's undoubtedly major it aspires to be a parodic romantic horrific lyrical capstone on the whole history of the novel and yet defiantly absurdly hilariously minor treating at unprecedented length and with unprecedented indulgence the nerd's fixations The revenge of the nerds A lot of people though see Ada as the point where Nabokov finally went off the rails completely Where I see a subtle and devious wreathing of the major and minor they see the submission of the former to the cancerous growth of the latter It's this disagreement that led me to LATH which by every account is a lesser minor? Nabokov novel his last the end of the road to nowhere he began treading with Ada Given how much I'd previously enjoyed following Nabokov down that road LATH seemed at least worth a tryAt this point the problem with LATH is easy to state it's all minor It's a pile of Nabokov fanboy trivia and ephemera with no grand ambition when it's only in the context of grand ambition that the trivia becomes fun The book is a first person account of the life of a novelist named Vadim and the whole thing is a comedic riff on Nabokov's own life Vadim's own books are mirror universe versions of Nabokov's own where N's first English novel is The Real Life of Sebastian Knight Vadim's is See Under Real which sounds from his description like a hybrid of RLSK and Pale Fire Vadim's life is little but a series of injokes about Nabokov's books and about the speculations that have been made about his life on the basis of his books Like many Nabokov protagonists Vadim is insane Unlike most of his predecessors he knows he's insane and makes a point of delivering a long speech about his condition to any woman who might consider marrying him The joke is that Vadim's condition an Oliver Sacksian uirk of visual imagination that leads him unable to imagine performing an about face is so trivial and uninteresting that these speeches are pointless In terms of dramatic potential we're a long way from Cincinnatus or Kinbote And in that difference we can glimpse the smirk of the nerd Who cares about dramatic potential? I write what I write and either you feel it in your spine or you don'tA few good jokes a few good lines but even the writing style is dimming here Too much reliance for instance on unexpected reversals of conventional phrases On page 85 I consistently try to dwell as lightly as inhumanly possible Only three pages later on that particular night on the fourth or fifth or fiftieth anniversary of my darling's death These little twists trapdoors of prose can induce a heady vertigo when used judiciously when there is some sort of solid ground for them to undermine Here there's no reason to care So what if Vadim is unreliable or inhuman or I don't know what? What is there here to be reliable about?The book's title first appears in the text in this wonderful passage which I'm sure will remain in my memory when everything else about LATH has faded An extraordinary grand aunt Baroness Bredow born Tolstoy amply replaced closer blood As a child of seven or eight already harboring the secrets of a confirmed madman I seemed even to her who also was far from normal unduly sulky and indolent; actually of course I kept daydreaming in a most outrageous fashionStop moping she would cry Look at the harleuinsWhat harleuins? Where?Oh everywhere All around you Trees are harleuins words are harleuins So are situations and sums Put two things together jokes images and you get a triple harleuin Come on Play Invent the world Invent realityI did By Jove I did I invented my grand aunt in honor of my first daydreams and now down the marble steps of memory's front porch here she slowly comes sideways sideways the poor lame lady touching each step edge with the rubber tip of her black caneStop moping Look at the harleuins a good mantra and a reminder of the comfort that minorness can provide in a sometimes oppressively major world But as for this novel? A reader interested in obeying the injunction should probably look elsewhere

READER Ë Look at the Harleuins ☆ Vladimir Nabokov

Who like Nabokov is a novelist poet and critic There are threads linking the fictional hero w Even though this book isn’t related to Transparent Things it feels very much like an extension of many of the themes Nabokov continues his shading of the narrator and embellishes with all the usual chess references butterflies etc plus dragons in this and Transparent Things

Vladimir Nabokov ☆ Look at the Harleuins KINDLE

Look at the HarleuinsA dying man cautiously unravels the mysteries of memory and creation Vadim is a Russian emigre Second reading A mock memoir by the fictional Russian novelist Vadim Vadimovich whose life is not dissimilar to Nabokov's own As a mere strip of a lad VV flees the Bolsheviks leaving — unlike VN — a dead Red in his wake Like VN too he first lives in Berlin then Paris and finally comes to America where he teaches European classics while continuing to write novels though now in English The tales of the VV's marriages here are hilarious The first to a woman named Iris whom he meets through a Cambridge friend the gay Ivor Black; this is a love match and it's depiction is very rich and satisfying in VN's usual crystalline manner Iris and VV have a villa on the Cote d'Azur to which they escape every summer and the depiction of that seaside wonderland is magnificent VV's second marriage is to a prude by the name of Annette for whom sex is an act of degradation This is the inauspicious note on which that marriage begins It ends with her idiotic if not uixotic turn to Sovietism which is like a knife to the heart of our dissident narrator uite funny His third wife Louise is an international nymphomaniac who humiliates daughter Bel the surprise product of the chaste second marriage The novel's a lot of fun especially if you've read VN's other novels and can pick out the many parallels between his work and the fictional oeuvre of Vadim Vadimovich For example VV's Kingdom by the Sea is clearly — in both the way it affects the author's life and in its controversial content — a parallel universe version of Lolita Look at the Harleuins was published three years before Nabokov's death in 1977 and it shows his narrative vigor undiminished by time If you love VN's work as I do you must read it It's rich and deeply satisfying I thought its start a little bumpy like lifting off from a short though pocked and pitted runway But the reader is soon aloft and enjoying the slight positive negative G forces — the frisson that great writing always provides