Why did Nabokov call Dostoevsky "a cheap sensationalist"? I can't read Russian, so I couldn't get into an in depth discussion of his prose (the P&V English is great, though), but I can't fathom how that label is remotely appropriate. The sensationalism in Dostoevsky has to do with people being melodramatic or autistic from reading certain books, which leads to results ranging from humorous to tragic. And his works certainly have a lot more substance than that, I mean, for Pete's sake. "Cheap sensationalism" is like dime novels or something, how is work like Notes from the Underground a dime novel?
Did Nabokov just hate how overtly Christian Dostoevsky's work was?
Nabokov's criticism is hit or miss. His judgments of great writers are usually interesting but idiosyncratic bordering on perverse. I wouldn't take him seriously.
Check out the following review of Nabokov's translation of Eugene Onegin; it has an interesting viewpoint on Nabokov's personality and characteristics as a thinker.
Dostoevski the publicist is one of those megaphones of elephantine platitudes (still heard today), the roar of which so ridiculously demotes Shakespeare and Pushkin to the vague level of all the plaster idols of academic tradition, from Cervantes to George Eliot (not to speak of the crumbling Manns and Faulkners of our times).
Nabokov wants art. He doesn't want to read the author's half assed beliefs served up through prose because the author can't cut the mustard in top flight academic discussions.
I think a character getting a fever and lying in bed for ten weeks was the 19th century equivalent of *unzips dick*
Non-Russian readers do not realize two things: that not
all Russians love Dostoevski as much as Americans do, and that
most of those Russians who do, venerate him as a mystic and not
as an artist. He was a prophet, a claptrap journalist and a
slapdash comedian. I admit that some of his scenes, some of his
tremendous, farcical rows are extraordinarily amusing. But his
sensitive murderers and soulful prostitutes are not to be
endured for one moment-- by this reader anyway.
D E S T R O Y E D
>Is it true that you have called Hemingway and Conrad
"writers of books for boys"?
That's exactly what they are. Hemingway is certainly the
better of the two; he has at least a voice of his own and is
responsible for that delightful, highly artistic short story,
"The Killers." And the description of the iridescent fish and
rhythmic urination in his famous fish story is superb. But I
cannot abide Conrad's souvenir-shop style, bottled ships and
shell necklaces of romanticist cliches. In neither of those two
writers can I find anything that I would care to have written
myself. In mentality and emotion, they are hopelessly juvenile,
and the same can be said of some other beloved authors, the
pets of the common room, the consolation and support of
graduate students, such as-- but some are still alive, and I
hate to hurt living old boys while the dead ones are not yet
"My position in regard to Dostoevsky is a curious and difficult one. In all my courses I approach literature from the only point of view that literature interests me-namely the point of view of enduring art and individual genius. From this point of view Dostoevsky is not a great writer, but a rather mediocre one-with flashes of excellent humor, but, alas, with wastelands of literary platitudes in between."
"In Crime and Punishment Raskolnikov for some reason or other kills an old female pawnbroker and her sister. Justice in the shape of an inexorable police officer closes slowly in on him until in the end he is driven to a public confession, and through the love of a noble prostitute he is brought to a spiritual regeneration that did not seem as incredibly banal in 1866 when the book was written as it does now when noble prostitutes are apt to be received a little cynically by experienced readers."
"A good third [of readers] do not know the difference between real literature and pseudo-literature, and to such readers Dostoevsky may seem more important and more artistic than such trash as our American historical novels or things called From Here to Eternity and such like balderdash."
>whereas the other guy is criticizing Dostoevsky's writing skills
He oversimplified Crime and Punishment to show it was shit. I oversimplified Lolita to show how you can do that to any work.
He's reliving the teenage love affair he had with a peasant girl before he had to flee Russia for being a blue blood. If you'd read The Original of Laura, you'd see that all those characters, not just in Lolita and Ada, were a conglomeration of her and Flora, the missing American child he studied in great detail. The Titian and Giorgione comparison alone shows a writer of greater imagination and scope, with more literary constraint than Dostoyevsky's dancing in the streets.
My first point was about Dostoevsky serving up half baked philosophy in a novel shaped shell, while Nabokov wants to see talent. Then I commenced the trolling while you failed to answer my original point.
Hey OP, I felt the need to improve your waifu. She's cute, but she's mine now.
never talk to a entomologist about vermin
I really disagree with these edits.
Destroys a great deal of the tone which makes the story so charming.
Nobokov is good but there is something that always underlies his writing, like an autistic inability to function on any wavelength not his own.
Also that bug is so fucking off, Nobokov please, to fit under a bed that bug would not be gigantic at all it would be comically small. The real shape would be much more squat and flat and long like an alligator more than a tortoise.
omfg nabokovian wikipedia is the greatest idea in the history of humanity. why can we not have nice things there is no god etc etc
>Also that bug is so fucking off, Nobokov please, to fit under a bed that bug would not be gigantic at all it would be comically small.
>disagree with the edit that takes out gigantic from insect
nabokov turned it down to being close to 3' big compared to kafka's GIGANTIC for a reason m8. learn to read
Art for the sake of art is more like it.
The ignorance of people who say things like this astounds me.
If academia was not complete hiveminded folly, then I can assure you dostoyevsky would have considered himself a part of it, but this wasn't the renaissance anymore.
This idea that he just didn't have the intellectual chops is retarded, because dostoyevsky in fact does not present Christianity in any kind of straightforward manner, everything is contradiction with him, he rests nowhere in the world.
This is really a central theme with Christianity that he was trying to lay out; that you can't have your cake and eat it too; you can't have the truth -and- live by it, because living is human, and the second you live as a human you lose that perspective with which to see truth.
He was a Christian socialist. Extremely against atheist socialism. In the Brothers Karamazov, for instance, he is very critical of atheistic socialism, but then says Christian socialism is the goal of the Church. He makes a tremendous distinction between atheistic socialism and Christian socialism, in the dialogue Ivan and Muisov have with Zosima.
As gregor samsa awoke one morning from a troubled dream he found himself edited by a gigantic autist. His bed had also been placed on stilts, and the painting in his room had been replaced with a precise replica 1/2 the size in order to maintain continuity.
Nah, you should have left the cross. The purity of the Christian symbol contrasted with the vulgarity of the cleavage makes it even hotter.
You haven't read his foreword to his translator's notes on his corrected English translation of his own work, Glory/Podvig, a fictional version of his later autobiography, Speak, Memory, which he took the trouble to write in English to avoid such problems of translating Russian into English
, and which he still had to correct the title for UK readers, US readers, and when it was translated into Russian, so that mere mortals could pronounce it.
Nobody understands prose or meaning in any language in which he wrote better than Nabokov does is the upshot.
I did say full autism but it's devastatingly competent autism
but ungeheuer is used for sea monsters [Seeungeheuer] and that type of thing.
he was monstrously large. nabokov's estimation of three foot is small for a monstrously large insect.
as you can see a monstrously large insect can easily be twice the size of a tank.
>reactionary movements are always right-wing
>Since Mr. Nabokov is in the habit of introducing any job of this kind which he undertakes by an announcement that he is unique and incomparable and that everybody else who has attempted it is an oaf and an ignoramus, incompetent as a linguist and scholar, usually with the implication that he is also a low-class person and a ridiculous personality
Nabokov openly admitted that he preferred style over substance and Dostoyevsky's style isn't particularly special. Then there's also >>7335626: many educated Russians just don't hold Dostoyevsky in such high regard. The older members of my family actually say "pulling a Dostoyevsky" as an insult; they associate it with sentimental, self-absorbed forced drama.