Priscilla Meyer and Rachel Trousdale ! -- b (, . .) (You have so many writing women! Be careful--it's a sign of a provincial literature (Dutch, Czech, etc.)) --Vladimir Nabokov, letter to Mark Aldanov I gradually got used to his manner of . . . taking something from a great author and then saying he'd never read him. --Nina Berberova, "Nabokov in the Thirties" Nabokov did say he had read Woolf. In fact he claims to have read "all" of Woolf in 1933 in preparation for writing "The Admiralty Spire."1 Yet the faults for which his story's horrid narrator reviles "lady novelists" have nothing to do with either the subject, method, or stylistic devices of Woolf 's novels.2 Nabokov finds lady novelists sentimental and famously wrote to Edmund Wilson, "I dislike Jane, and am prejudiced, in fact, against all women writers. They are in another class."3 Maxim D. Shrayer reviews Nabokov's largely negative criticism of the works of Russian and anglophone women poets and prose writers, finding that he "fails to offer grounds for his dismissive remarks" about even such a poet as Marina Tsvetaeva.4 What led Nabokov to read all of Woolf 's work but never anywhere
Comparative Literature Studies – Penn State University Press
Published: Sep 3, 2013
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