Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Nabokovian Choice of James Joyce

[Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov to Jack Dalton*]

TLS (Xerox), 1p.
Montreux, Switzerland

Dear Mr. Dalton,
In answer to your kind letter of September 21, my husband asks me to say that he thinks ULYSSES by far the greatest English novel of the century but detests FINNEGANS WAKE "whose obscenties when deciphered are not justified by the commonplace myths and silly anecdotes they laboriously mask."

He very much regrets that the amount of work already lined up for the next year or two does not allow him to undertake the writing of an article on this subject.

Sincerely yours,

* James Joyce Scholar.

-from Vladimir Nabokov Selected Letters 1940-1977 edited by Dimitri Nabokov and Matthew J. Bruccoli (San Diego: Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, 1989) p.350-51.

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