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that time nabokov trash talked boris pasternak

From Open Culture. Nabokov:

I’ve been perplexed and amused by fabricated notions about so-called “great books.” That, for instance, Mann’s asinine Death in Venice, or Pasternak’s melodramatic, vilely written Doctor Zhivago, or Faulkner’s corncobby chronicles can be considered masterpieces, or at least what journalists term “great books,” is to me the same sort of absurd delusion as when a hypnotized person makes love to a chair.

Sick burn, Vlad.

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Written by fabiorojas

January 28, 2015 at 12:06 am

Posted in culture, fabio, the man

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  1. You can add Dostoevski and of course Hemingway to the list of novelists whose “great books” Nabokov dismissed. Dr. Zhivago — a novel written by a Russian, published in the US in 1958, so popular that it made the author and the title character household names. But surely “this town ain’t big enough for both of us” had nothing to do with Nabokov’s judgment. Anyway, he did admire Pasternak’s poetry.

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    Jay Livingston

    January 29, 2015 at 2:03 am


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