Friday, January 14, 2011

Nabokovvvvvvvvvvvv!!!!!! by Alex Snider

Today, I embark on a journey that will culminate with me becoming the preeminent Nabokovian scholar. That being, I begin my course on my long-dead (*come on Zombie-apocalypse*) boyfriend. Oh, can you even imagine having Vladimir for a boyfriend? He'd be the one that you'd try and impress by being all serious and smart and never fart in front of.

Been there, bought the nerdiest t-shirt ever. A side-note, this picture was ridiculously hard to take with my computer without making my breasts look like watermelons hence the terrible, half-shimmy, "who's your daddy" pose/face.

But, I digress... As you can see I am a little enamoured with the greatest writer of all time; his prose has actually brought me to tears; he is the kind of author in who's novels you would write in the margins, underlining ferociously because while you had never perceived the world that way but now that image, that thought is branded in your mind and you will never be the same. John Updike described his writing as such: "Nabokov writes prose the only way it should be written, ecstatically", which incidentally also describes how I feel reading his prose; for reals, I get goose-bumps.

What I love about him is his unapologetic pretentiousness which is always masked as his character's pretentiousness (well, except for Pnin, poor, sweet Pnin); his acrobatic word-play; the absolute hilarity (even Lolita while not quite a laugh a minute, is very, very funny); his despicable characters (again except for poor, sweet Pnin) and his refusal to engage in that Americanism: the happy ending.

It is refreshing to read novels by authors who decline the demand for appealing to the unwashed masses because they believe, as I do, that people are or can be a hellova lot smarter than they are given credit for. Like James Joyce (*very heavy Lucille Bluth-eye roll; gah that unreadable pile, Finnegan's Wake*), Ol' Vlad didn't compromise himself so that the literary hoi polloi could read him absentmindedly. No, he wrote so that while his stories are rather simple the mind must really work to fully grasp the genius; nay, the mind wants to work to fully bask in the post-coital-like glow of brilliant prose. When reading Nabokov, you must be present.

I highly, highly (like, if you don't like my man then I owe you my first born) recommend reading his work. Not much of a reader? King Queen Knave! Want to graduate from those misogynists, Palahaniuk and Bret Easton Ellis, to something morally corrupt but well written? Lolita! Do you like making intellectual love to a novel? Pale Fire! Not ready for all out, ankles to ears mind-fucking, but into a little intellectual dry-humping? The Real Life of Sebastian Knight! Twilight Zone fan into stories that are not all that they seem oooooooooo *spooky noises*? Invitation to a Beheading! Interested in faking your own death? Despair! Finished reading all of John Irving's incest-tastic books? Ada, or Ardor! Are you into novels about colleges/college towns and authors like Robertson Davies? Pnin! Writer struggling to write your first novel? *Bam* The Gift! Don't you love a good unreliable narrator or spiral into madness? Read all of them!

Shit yo, I'm so excited!


  1. i hope you left those grad students positively in awe of your brilliance my dear!

  2. I'm bidding my time... I like to play the underdog so that later in the semester I can have that Lifetime movie moment and everyone will cheer and my prof will have a single tear run down his cheek...

  3. Aside from Lolita, the TPL's Nabokov inventory is disappointing.

  4. Swing by the Ranch lending library!