Patrick Kurp on Nabokov:

On July 2 we will observe the 30th anniversary of Vladimir Nabokov’s death, a reality that remains unacceptable. I have never fallen so hard for a writer as I did for Nabokov in 1970, when I started reading all his available books, out of order, early self-translated Russian titles mingling promiscuously with the American and post-American masterpieces. One of the reasons I fell in love with Tristram Shandy was that I read an essay by Frank Kermode in which he likened Nabokov’s Bend Sinister to Sterne’s masterpiece. Nabokov was never a systematic critic of literature but his influence on my tastes was lasting. Dostoevsky remains “Dusty,” and Freud, more than ever, is the “Viennese quack.” The aim of reading and writing, he taught us, is “aesthetic bliss.”

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