Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Nabokov and the silly moon

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In his massive commentary on Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, Vladimir Nabokov writes of a stanza in which the title character insults the woman whom Lenski, his best friend, loves, comparing her to “that silly moon, up in that silly sky.” Nabokov says:

This [stanza] upset me so much when I first read [Eugene Onegin] as a boy that I mentally had Onegin next morning ride over to Lenski’s to apologize—with the suave frankness that made the proud man’s charm—for venting his spleen on the lover’s lady and the poet’s moon.

In the young Nabokov’s desire to rewrite a favorite work of art, it isn’t hard to recognize the glimmerings of the same collective impulse that will take shape online, many years later, as fanfic.

Written by nevalalee

January 15, 2011 at 10:01 am

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